Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4)
It's the new year. I love the new year with its fresh face and fresh ideas. I always smile as I see the ads change from decadence to health, from luxury and one-more-thing to organization, exercise equipment and diet plans.
I love Lamentations 3: 22 and 23 where the Lord tells us His mercies are new every morning. A new year gives us a new start, a new opportunity to begin again on our desires and goals.
When I stop and think about it seriously though, a year ahead of me is a big stretch. To think of keeping all those new goals for an entire year?--whew, that's a big chunk to think on! So maybe how about a month? That's a little easier to think about, but still a large goal. So I can pare it down to a week or a day? Still, some things, like not eating that piece of candy or speaking harshly when I'm under stress, those are deeds of a moment.
I have been reading Frances Ridley Havergal's "Kept for the Master" and she addresses this very issue. How refreshing to realize that I can give the Lord the moment that I am tempted and trust Him to keep my resolution for me. To just confess to Him that I cannot keep my goals and resolutions, but I'll put it into His care and surrender to His life, His power, His will for the moment and let Him keep my heart's desires that are right in safekeeping.
My theme for this year is "Abide in Christ". He already has confirmed this again and again in just the few days that I've had in 2012.
Moment by moment I desire to live His life--setting aside the one that I want and living that wonderful life that He has planned for me. I yearn to receive the faith He has for me, the wisdom He has for me, the redemption He has for me and the love He has for me. I yearn to be emptied of me and filled with Him.
Someone asked in a book I read today--"What is it that you live for? What is it that you desire to see accomplished more than anything else?" As I read that I thought that above all else I yearn for the spiritual health and welfare of my children and grandchildren and that more than anything else I desire to accomplish, it's that God would use me in some way to be a part of His carrying out a great work through them.
I have that same desire for my spiritual children. All the children I've had the privilege to teach, to spend time with, to be a part somehow of their lives. All the spiritual daughters He's placed in my life.
So, as I stand at the threshhold of this new year, dear daughters, I pray that God would have you for Himself this year. Consecrated. Dedicated. Set apart for Him.
As I pray for my physical children I pray for you that God would do a work in your hearts to be separated from this world and its culture and system unto the law of God and to Himself, (Neh. 10:28) and that you would yield your bodies that you might not serve any other god but God Himself. (Dan. 3:28, Rom. 12:1,2) And I pray that He would remind you to not look at the whole thing but simply yield yourself to Him and His word moment by moment.