I am a word nerd. How about you? I love books, made out of paper. I don’t dig the whole new age, read your novels on an electronic device gig. Why? Because this chickie is an extremely active reader. I read with my book in one hand and a pen in the other. Maybe it’s because I’m an English teacher as part of my DNA, maybe I’m a Grammar Nazi (that’s the one according to my husband and son), or maybe I’m just my own breed of crazy. Crazy because of my DNA, and Grammar Nazi tendencies…that could be the ticket right there! However you care to label my flavor of crazy, I am a word nerd. I love to study words. Why? By studying a word, you can find the true meaning of other words, and learn a deeper understanding…especially when studying God’s word. Some words have layers of meaning, like an onion. As you peel away at them, you can find a deeper meaning of what God’s word says to you. Yes, like onions, they can bring tears to your eyes. Oh, but what about the times when they fill you will awe and wonder at all that God has to say to you. Those are the times I absolutely love!
Tonight I hosed a ladies tea themed “Abide”. It was follow-up to our One In a Million Bible study we completed a few weeks ago. The whole concept came from the short video Priscilla Shirer added to the very end of the study. She presented the idea of steeping a tea bag as we abide in Christ. That’s where the idea for the tea party originated. It was a short video clip that changed my life. I literally could not stop thinking about and meditating on the word “Abide”. I prayed that the Lord would provide me direction on “abide” since I couldn’t get it out of my head. As always, our loving God gave me the direction I needed.
When I study a word, I use the dictionary first to define a word, then bust out the thesaurus to find synonyms for the word. I never expected that the word list would change my life, but it did. I pray that it does the same for you. You can see in the photo the word abide and it’s synonyms. Take a minute to look it over, and then let’s chat.
I know the page may not seem like much to you at this moment, but consider this. Abide is the Greek word meno´, meaning to stay or remain. In Hebrew Abide is yashab, meaning to sit, remain, or dwell. To abide is to stay or mean in Christ. Just like our tea bag that steeps in hot tea. The longer the tea bag remains in the water, the strong the tea becomes. Likewise, the longer we remain steeping in Christ, the stronger we become in Christ. Makes sense right? Wait, there’s more…and it won’t cost you shipping, handing or processing fees.
Look at the word collage again. Abide also means to linger. Essentially to abide we need to hang around, take time to consider God’s word, His commands, and speak to Him in prayer. Tonight we had an assortment of herbal tea bags from which each lady could choose. Each one of us raised the cup to our nose as the tea was steeping. We smelled it, looked at the color, and stirred gently as the once plain, clear water became changed. Shouldn’t we do the same with God’s word? Stop to consider what you are reading. What is God truly saying? Linger over His word, and the words used by the men who penned that beautiful book that God breathed. Say those words over and over. Read your verse again. Linger there, as if you could smell it. While our tea bag changed the water before our eyes as we lingered over it, God’s word will change our lives…our hearts and souls right before our eyes. Just linger.
Abiding means staying, steeping, lingering, and then consider submit. Submitting to God is us allowing Him to lead. We submit to His leadership. To abide, we must follow in God’s footsteps He has laid before us. What we’ve learned this far is that abiding in Christ is lingering over his word, taking time to breathe it in, and allowing it to change us. Then, we must submit to what God has told us. We must obey Him. Yep, obey is on the list! Now, sometimes when we submit to God, and obey what He has for us, life becomes difficult. Remember, Jesus never promised life would be easy here on earth. He told us to take heart because He overcame this world. When life becomes difficult, we abide in Christ by persevering. See that one on the list? Persevering…continuing to push through, hanging in there, and hanging tough. Sometimes it is one of the hardest things to do in this life. How often do we want to just give up? What the world list with this next statement. When we persevere, we often have to tolerate the troubles that his world brings. We have to endure the tests set before us, withstand the attacks of the enemy. It’s when we stay in The Word, that Christ resides in our hearts. When we acknowledge what He directs us to do, and follow His direction, we will win the race. That’s how we abide in Him.
Abide truly has a new meaning for me dear sister. It’s so much deeper than a simple world. It’s a plethora of direction, and assurance of a beautiful future with Christ is we can remain in Him. Y’all, take time to linger with the Lord, stay in His word, dwell on what it says, and then stand firm in His direction. John 15:7 truly says it all, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” When we are in Christ…fully steeped, and hanging tough in the path down which He leads, our desires will become His desires, and they will then be provided.
Dear sister, God desires that our heart be a mirror image of His heart. When we abide in Him…steep and linger in His word, life miraculously changes from plain to fragrant, tasty, sweet, and a beautiful blessing. Abide dear sister, abide.