God wants us to Abide in Him.

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]

What does it mean to be made new?

I heard a sermon yesterday where the pastor preached on 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. It talks about how through our trusting in the Lord, we are made a new creation. We are given the opportunity for our lives to be transformed. My recovery from Guillain Barre has given me a new appreciation for what that means. I have thought a great deal and now have written about how my life has changed because of my auto immune system going haywire in late February/early March of 2019. This morning in a devotional written by Randy Wolff he talked about how a friend of his is handling suffering. It communicates exactly what I have been trying to articulate over these last few months.  “Suffering woke me up! I am fully awake and aware of new lessons being learned daily. I just knew about the lessons before. Now I really know priority and who to depend upon.”Sometimes we all need suffering to make us fully awake and alive. I am now convinced of this truth. I have more faith because of what I have experienced.” This quote is exactly why I started this blog. I want to choose and encourage others to be thankful in all things, good or bad.

Sometimes we all need suffering to make us fully awake and alive.

What follows is the way I paraphrased 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 to personalize it for me. “Since my bout with Guillain Barre Syndrome I now know what it is to fear the Lord and why I now feel compelled to persuade others to do the same. I am not trying to commend myself to you but am touched and humbled by folks saying my faith and fight has been an inspiration. I am thankful that my recovery has given me an opportunity to answer those who dwell on what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. Christ’s love and the love shown to me and Dottie is what compelled us, because we are convinced that the one who died for all, Jesus, met us in what was indeed a nadir moment. So from now on I will strive to regard nothing from a worldly point of view. Though I believed Christ would be our rock no matter what, I now know it to be true. I speak boldly that Therefore, since I know I am in Christ, the new creation has come both physically and spiritually. I am learning the old has gone and because of what I have and am going through, a new me is here!  I am ,therefore, Christ’s ambassador, and God has given me a platform to make His appeal to you through me. I write to implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. Why? Because one never knows when adversity will come your way and you definitely want God at your side when it does.” God has showed up time and time again for me which has given me renewed confidence in a promise I have always known to be true and now has been verified.