So, I’m starting to believe what they say—that the older you get, the faster time flies. 2018 just evaporated into a vapor of celebrations, challenges, and changes galore. And now it’s time to look ahead, to claim my #oneword365, that one word to cling to, ponder, and allow to marinate into my very soul…

“ABIDE”. That’s my word for 2019. Meaning to remain, to stay, to dwell, to continue. I’m not sure why I’ll be needing it this year especially, but it’s been peeking at me from a variety of sources this past month (including my coffee mug), and I can’t possibly ignore it.

“Hour-by-hour abiding in Jesus means hour-by-hour trusting him to meet all your needs and be all our treasure.” John Piper

How was your 2018? A mix of highs, lows, and everything in between, I dare say. Personally, I needed my “FAITH” word of the year to remind me that God is sovereign and He knows best. Always. He proved it to me time and again. But the past year has left me a wee bit exhausted and disoriented if I’m going to be honest. Therefore, the thought of abiding in Christ is like a balm to my soul, and I’m enjoying digging deeper into what “abide” might look like for me—maybe for you, too.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4

The coming year will bring unknowns. But if I am abiding in Christ, I’ll be okay with that. Things I do know—I will have a couple of books published, another written, I will have no more teenagers, the nest will still be empty, I will get to travel, a son will graduate Uni, I will laugh and probably cry along the way. But I want my year to be fruitful, a blessing to others, glorifying God whenever possible. The only way I can do this is by abiding in Jesus. Abiding in His perfect love.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9

And in that abiding, I will REST, RELY, and REMAIN…

REST:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

When we are abiding in Christ, attached to the vine—allowing His strength to flow through us, we can truly “be still” and experience soul rest. We trust Him, we are less anxious, less stressed, less inclined to allow our perfectionist tendencies to run amuck. And it happens right here, right now:

 “The answer isn’t always getting away; the answer is abiding more deeply. Right where we are.” Ruth Schwenk

RELY:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Oh, to have faith to depend wholly on God for everything! And that is what He calls us to do, for when we attempt to do all the things apart from Him and under our own steam, we fall short. We fail to bear fruit. He invites us to rely on Him, to dwell in Him:

“Jesus invites us to abide in his love. That means to dwell with all that I am in him. It is an invitation to a total belonging, to full intimacy, to an unlimited being-with. The light of the Spirit reveals to us that love conquers all fear.” Henri Nouwen

REMAIN:

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

To abide is to remain CONTINUALLY, for that intimate connection to be ongoing. God has given us His Word that we might know Him and love Him on a deeper level. The Bible is our daily bread, our spiritual nourishment, our truth to live by—we are to abide in it, remain in it:

 “Abide means never ceasing to eat and drink from the word as the bread of heaven and living water, as if life could be sustained anywhere else.” John Piper

Being intentional about abiding in Christ sounds like a good plan for my 2019. I hope it encourages your heart, too. 😊

Wishing you God’s richest blessing as you head into the coming year… and if you have a special “word” for 2019, would you share it in the comments below?

Abiding in His love,

P.S. For some new year reading, grab your FREE copy of my “20 FICTION FAVORITES” —a collection of my favorite fiction book suggestions, complete with mini-reviews right HERE!

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