THIS WEEK–Abide

Abide – Remain in expectation, wait. Stay, remain, reside, dwell, endure, stand firm.

(Oxford Dictionary)





The word abide has an inbuilt connotation of a call to be a stable and patient person. Those two characteristics are not common virtues in our society. We live in a world of instant access and gratification. Our self-worth is damaged if we must wait. There is sense of restlessness that causes us to not want to wait or be still. Such actions are somehow a waste of time or an intrusion in our lives. The Bible, in one way or another speaks often of waiting.

So, Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine. (John 8:31) I stress that Jesus said continue in his word. That is the key to abiding in God. We must stay with him and learn of him. Our faith journey is just that- a journey. All too often we see faith as a destination, but the only destination we have is to abide in God day by day. That requires that we learn the secret of abiding.

Abiding is long term. We all know a long-term debt takes many years to pay off. The typical home mortgage is 30 years or more. Cars are now financed for as much as 8 years. When we take on this long-term debt, we know that we must pay it regularly and be patient. Just as we enjoy the house we live in or the car we drive even though we have the debt, we can enjoy our abiding journey with God. He gives us the blessings of each day and the strength to endure the tough times. He is committed to long-term, and you should be, too.

Abiding is boring from time to time. Boredom is another great enemy of abiding in God. The blessings do not always flow down like a rushing stream. There are times when life is plain dull and slow. We are often tempted to do something to liven up our lives. Jimmy Buffet’s song, “Gypsies in the Palace,” presents a ridiculous solution to boredom when he sings,” Snake this party is getting dull, let’s throw someone in the pool.” Christians are always getting ready to throw someone in the pool when our abiding journey is getting boring. Our church is not alive, our prayers do not have the right answers. God is with us even in those boring and unexciting times. Oswald Chambers refers to the “the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people that smother the burning heart” and stresses that is the most important time to recall the abiding presence of God.

Abiding in God is a call to change. It is a call to change our expectations in life. It is a call to reevaluate our way of living. As we abide in Christ, we distance ourselves from the world. By world I mean base elements of our nature and not some strange detachment from normal life. Those who abide in him are active in life and seek to be a positive role model for the world. They can wear fashionable clothing and enjoy contemporary music but are always ready to acknowledge who they follow. That is the change- we must acknowledge him. To abide in God, we must be willing to acknowledge him to all the world. Abiding in God is not being a like member of a secret society, but it is having the sort of faith that is fully visible to the world. Most Christians tend to say that our faith is private, but it is not. A private faith is not an abiding faith, and that is the change we must embrace. We must go public.

In the words of Oswald Chambers, “There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.” That is our call and challenge for this day- to abide in him at all times and under all circumstances.

Quotes BannerThe more we abide in Christ, the more His grace and power transform us into His image.

~~~Lailah Gifty Akita

Abiding does not mean sitting idly by. It means resting in the work, resting in the moment, resting in the truth, resting in the confidence that God is your provision.

~~~Robin Bertram

“There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

~~~Oswald Chambers

It is the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people that smothers the burning heart–unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.

~~~Oswald Chambers

You can do anything under one condition; you must continually abide in Jesus Christ

~~~Sunday Adelaja

I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

~~~Bill Hicks

Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

~~~Harper Lee

Time abides long enough for those who make use of it.

~~~Leonardo da Vinci

For any young democracy, the most difficult but important step is burying the legacy of tyranny and establishing an economy and a government and institutions that abide by the rule of law. Every country faces challenges to the rule of law, including my own.

~~~Joe Biden

Amidst the confusion of the times, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives.

~~~Thomas S. Monson

A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies.

~~~Diogenes

Those who trust to chance must abide by the results of chance.

~~~Calvin Coolidge





I have built you an exalted house,

  a place for you to abide forever.’

~~~1 Kings 8:13

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

~~~ John 15:9

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

~~~John 15:10

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.

~~~John 15:4

Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

~~~2 John 1:9

‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’

~~~Haggai 2:5

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 15:5

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

~~~John 15:6

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

~~~John 15:7

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

~~~Romans 11:22

Prayer BannerLord, I ask that you abide in me in my coming and my going, my success and failure, my good days and bad days and may you at all times know that there is a place for you in my life. Let me pause this moment and invite you in so that I may live in the blessed assurance of your abiding presence and love.

Amen

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Lessons and Carols

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Age to Age


Tuesday Week 4 December 22



Give the king your justice, O God,

   and your righteousness to a king’s son.

Templet for daily reading Week 4May he judge your people with righteousness,

   and your poor with justice.

May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,

   and the hills, in righteousness.

May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,

   give deliverance to the needy,

   and crush the oppressor.

~~~Psalm 72:1-4



Question: Do you trust that God’s plan will endure through the problems that the world sends?



Prayer Thought

Lord, I trust you that your righteousness will break through the wall of deceit that encircles most of the world. Give me the fortitude to be a part of that breakthrough. Amen

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Advent Musings Video #5

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Heaven’s Authority



Week 4   Monday   December 21



When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By Templet for daily reading Week 4what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

~~~Matthew 21:23-27



Question: How do we recognize the authority of heaven?



Prayer Thought

Lord, Give me the spiritual insight to recognize your authority in my everyday life and live with the confidence that you are by my side.

Amen

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Sermon Video December 20

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Advent Musings Video #4

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Understanding His Origin

Friday Week 3  December 18



For to which of the angels did God ever say,

‘You are my Son;

   today I have begotten you’?

Or again,

‘I will be his Father,

   and he will be my Son’?

6And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’

7Of the angels he says,

‘He makes his angels winds,

   and his servants flames of fire.’

8But of the Son he says,

‘Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever,

   and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.

~~~Hebrews 1:5-8



Question: Who is Jesus and where did he come from?



Prayer Thought

Lord, There are many explanations of your origin. Today I proclaim that you are God with us -Emmanuel You came from heaven into the world and made it a different place. You are the savior of the world.

Amen

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The Final Word



Week 3  Thursday  December 17



1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs

~~~Hebrews 1:1-4



Question:  Are you hearing the final and complete word of Christmas?



Prayer Thought

Lord, Today I want to commit to live for you. I know that you have spoken to the world in many ways, but now you have come. May I recognize you in the person and work of Jesus.

Amen

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The Security of God’s People



Wednesday Week 3   December 16



Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,

  which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

  so the LORD surrounds his people,

  from this time on and for evermore.

For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest

  on the land allotted to the righteous,

so that the righteous may not stretch out

  their hands to do wrong.

Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,

  and to those who are upright in their hearts.

But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways

  the LORD will lead away with evildoers.

~~~Psalm 125



Question: Do you enjoy the security of being a follower of God?



Prayer Thought

Lord, Allow me to experience the joy of security that comes with my faith in you. Many times you have promised that you are with me always. Help me not to forget that today.

Amen

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