This year I had a hard time choosing a word for the year. Nothing came to me easily in the end of December and early January. I prayed about it. I looked online at some word lists. I wrote a list of words. I wrote down words that I have had the past few years. Last year my word was prayer. I wanted something that would encourage me this year. I finally ended up choosing the word ABIDE.The verses that I found for ABIDE are from John 15:4-7. I really liked verse 9, which says,
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now abide in my love."
What does Abide mean?
Here are some dictionary definitions:
to remain, continue, stay, to have one's abode, dwell, reside, to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, attitude; to wait for, await, to await the coming of the Lord.
I looked in the thesaurus, and this is what I found:
to submit to, put up with, accept, acknowledge, be big about, bear, bear with, concede, consent to, defer, endure, hang in, hang tough, live with, put up with, receive, sit tight, stand, stomach, swallow take, tolerate, withstand. Also: continue, endure, keep on, last, persevere, persist, remain, survive. Also: exist, act, be alive, have being, have place, hold, inhabit, last, live, move, obtain, subsist.
The word abide is used many times in John 15. I like verse 5 which says, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." Christ goes on to say that the one who does not abide with Him is like a branch thrown away, withered up and cast into the fire to be burned. He says that if we keep His commandments, we will abide in His love. To me, this sounds like a contrast of heaven and hell. I don't want to be cast away from him, especially into the fire of hell! I want to remain in Him, abide with Him and His love. I want to obey His commandments in my life.
Another place in the Bible that mentions abide often is in 1 John 2, toward the end. John talks about how God's anointing abides in us, and teaches us. Verse 28 says, "Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming." I have thought a lot about abiding with Him, and I know that I don't want to shrink away when Jesus returns. I want to know Him, remain in Him, know His face, and look forward to seeing His face soon.
It is a great goal for me this year. I always desire to grow closer to God. I pray often that He will draw me closer to Himself day by day. I hope that you will desire to abide with God this year too.