I really want to “finish well” in the time I have left here on earth. I have recently written on Focusing on “What’s Next” and learning how to focus on others rather than myself. It has led me to the realization that if I am to finish well I must learn how to Abide which is defined as “accepting or acting in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation)
Jerry Bridges says there are four essential elements to finishing well. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/four-essentials-to-finishing-well He writes, “I have come to the conclusion that there are four fundamental actions we can take to help us finish well. There may be other issues that are important, but I believe these four are fundamental. They are:
- daily time of focused personal communion with God
- daily appropriation of the gospel
- daily commitment to God as a living sacrifice
- firm belief in the sovereignty and love of God”
All of these lead me back to the command that I am to abide in Christ. Like the definition, I need to accept the rule that God created me and my life is better lived if I act in accordance with that belief. The word Abide initially promotes a peaceful and restful posture and yet it is an active verb, not a feeling or a belief, but something we do. It means to “remain” or “stay”, even “attached or rooted” in the One who wants to nourish us to be the best we can so we can finish well. John 15:5 says we are to be like a branch rooted in love that can only live if it is attached to the vine. It entails far more than the idea of continued belief in the Savior. It means actively living out our lives in the way God’s Son lived His life before He died for us. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2;4-6) Psalms 37:23,24 promises us that “The Lord will firm up the steps of the one who delights (abides) in Him. We will make mistakes and stumble but will not fall because Lord is there upholding us with His hand” 1 John 2:10 reinforces the psalmist saying, “The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him”
This is the man I want to be. A man who endeavors to walk in the manner seen in the life of Christ. A man who knows he has and will stumble and make mistakes but won’t fall because the Lord is always there and promises to never fail me. May my actions exhibit that I believe that God is in control of my life and therefore I accept and will act accordingly with that truth. May I be like Jeremiah who prayed: “Let me not boast of my wisdom
or boast of my strength
or boast of the provisions I have been provided or in what I have accomplished.
But let me be the one who boasts about this:
that they I have an understanding of who God is and that He loves me.
that He is the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth and,
for in me He delights,” Jeremiah 9:23,24 (Guthrie version :)) Therefore, may my answer to What’s Next always be to Abide in Him!
Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that my One Word for this year is RISE! https://thankfulinallthings.com/are-you-ready-to-rise-up-p-with-me-in-2023/ Resoved, Intentional, Striving for Extraordinary things with a focus on What’s Next. May my answer to What’s Next always be to Abide in Him! I hope I have encouraged you to do the same. You can reach me by email at [email protected]