Abiding, Studying, Asking and Giving Thanks In The New Year

Think of your very favorite person in the whole wide world. How much time do you spend with that person? How often do you talk, spend time together and enjoy each other’s company?

What would happen to that relationship if you didn’t spend any time together after you met? What would you miss out on if you very rarely, if ever, spoke?

This relationship is the picture Jesus gives us with His description of Himself as the vine and us as the branches. We read in John 15:5-6 that when we are firmly and securely attached to Jesus, we can thrive and flourish and bear much fruit. Those branches who don’t stay firmly attached wither and are burned for kindling.

But the verse that comes next can be our guide for the new year, giving us direction so we can thrive and flourish regardless of what the next 12 months bring.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

If ye abide in me: if you stay determined to live a life dedicated to Jesus Christ, focusing on prayer and building a strong relationship with Him above all else...

And my words abide in you: if you are dedicated to reading the Bible and applying Scripture to your everyday life...

Ye shall ask what ye will: go to God in prayer with the right heart attitude and make His desires your own desires...

And it shall be done unto you: God promises to answer you and give you the desires of your heart.

God doesn’t promise us that we will get everything we ask for - He knows our needs better than we do, and He often saves us from problems and mistakes by not giving us what we want. Instead, He promises to answer our prayers in His perfect and permissive wills for our greater good and His glory. In the end, it’s not about getting a pony for Christmas. It’s about our desires matching up with His desires because we’ve read Scripture and listened to His Spirit in our lives, so we know what His desires for us are. Then we go to God in prayer wanting and asking for the very things He already wants to give us. That’s His delight!

So now let’s be practical and think about the coming year.

If ye abide in me: What do we need to do in 2021 to stay dedicated to Jesus Christ?

And my words abide in you: What do we need to do in 2021 to make sure Scripture is the foundation of all we read and study?

Ye shall ask what ye will: What does our prayer life in 2021 need to look like?

And it shall be done unto you: What does God promise that our 2021 will look like if we are faithful and dedicated to Him?

The answers to these questions are very personal and very specific to the relationship you have with the Lord. Make them a matter of prayer, and check your heart attitude to see where you can walk more closely with Him in 2021. When we stand strong on the foundation of God and His word, the circumstances surrounding us won’t seem so overwhelming. Please pray with me that we will each focus on abiding and giving thanks in the days, weeks and months to come.


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