by Brad Jolly
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe how fast 2022 went by. I don’t know how your year has been, but if yours was like mine, it was a mixture of blessings and challenges.
So when a new year comes around like we have at our doorstep right now in 2023, I like to step back and take an assessment of what changes I would like to see in my life and in my family’s lives.
So what about you? Are there changes you would like to see also? Here’s a list of areas I like to assess:
- Priorities with time
- Goals I had for 2022 and have for the future
- Family time
- Prioritizing studying God’s Word
- My prayer life
- Personal health and fitness
- Getting more organized
- Probably some other things, etc., etc.
If you read through that list (and did so slowly), then you might have felt the same way as me. Wow! That’s a lot of things to work through and evaluate….and plan….and work on. I’m already exhausted. Whew!
But as I look through everything, I keep coming back to one thing….one single thing that Jesus seemed to prioritize with his disciples shortly before going to the cross. This one thing supersedes everything, because if you do this one thing, then everything else falls into line.
Yes, Jesus told his disciples, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 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.” John 15:4-5.
Abiding in Jesus. What exactly is that, and how do we do this? And better yet, how do we do this consistently?
The word, abide, in the original Greek language, is “menō”. It means to remain, to live in, and to stay in connection to. It’s much like when you come home at the end of the day, and you are in for the evening. You remain in the home, you dwell in it and are not going out again. All of your activities now are done while being in the house: eating, conversations, activities – all done while abiding in your home. Jesus is telling us to abide in Him – to stay connected to him at all times (through prayer, consciously knowing that we belong to Him, knowing that He lives in us through His Spirit, resting in all He has done for us and will do in us). Abiding in Jesus means we go about our day, vitally connected to Him, listening to Him and doing whatever He asks of us at any moment in time.
As I ponder over this thought of abiding in Christ, I quickly realize how much I have failed at doing this consistently throughout this past year. I don’t do so with guilt, though, as I consider the tender loving invitation to abide anew. Each day is a calling from Jesus himself to connect to Him and stay connected to Him throughout the day. He knows how much we fail, but yet in His love for us, He invites us again, to come abide in Him.
Friend, if you are like me, and you long to have an abiding type of life in Christ, come to Him this very day, as we start a new year, and tell our loving Savior and Friend, “Yes, Lord Jesus, I have failed to abide as I should have. Will you help me to abide in you now? And when I fail the next time, will you help me to quickly come to you and abide again? Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for loving me so much as to call me to such a sweet daily fellowship! Amen.”