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My New Year’s Revolution: “To Abide”

“Abide in Me and I in you” (John 15:4).

Resolve … resolution.

Revolve … revolution.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:7).

A pastor I know asks the Lord for a one word theme for his church that year. One time it was “one,” referring to unity, and another year it was “missions.”

The word the Lord has given me for the year 2016 is “abide.” Or, to say it another way, I feel “called” to abide in Him this year as never before.

My threefold goal for this year can be stated: “I will abide in Christ; I will let His word abide in me; and I will abide in the moment.”

Our title, “New Year’s Revolution,” is a little play on words. The hymn “I Am Resolved” could be made to read: I am revolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight. Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.

Revolving implies turning around, and that’s what I am doing. Turning around implies repentance, and I’m doing that also.

Think of it as a mid-course correction, the kind you and I are always making. Our Lord said, “Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). So, think of this as a pruning, a further refining as I try to bring all of Joe under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

I resolve no longer to abide in my flesh but in Him; no longer to have everyone else’s words filling my mind, but His; no longer to spread my attention out over days and months but to abide in the moment.

Abide. A verb, for which “abode” is the noun. We abide in an abode (therefore, we could say Christ will be my Abode). “Abide” means something enduring, lasting, persisting, steadfast and constant.

If I visit a place for a while and then leave, I am not abiding but am a visitor. If I take a temporary lease on a dwelling with an expiration date, I do not abide there but am a renter.

If I abide in Christ, I stay. I have come to settle down here and never leave. My plans have no expiration date, no “sell by” date. I am here for the duration.

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Joe McKeever has been a preacher for nearly 60 years, a pastor for 42 years, and a cartoonist/writer for Christian publications all his adult life. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.