1. to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.
2. to have one's abode; dwell; reside: to abide in a small Scottish village.
3. to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last. –verb (used with object)
4. to put up with; tolerate; stand: I can't abide dishonesty!
5. to endure, sustain, or withstand without yielding or submitting: to abide a vigorous onslaught.
6. to wait for; await: to abide the coming of the Lord.
7. to accept without opposition or question: to abide the verdict of the judges.
8. to pay the price or penalty of; suffer for. —Verb phrase
The last few days have found me mulling over the word abide. I have been playing the Christmas music on heavy rotation and so, of course, this is a common theme. In my mind, I have been thinking about the most common definition for abide- to remain, continue, stay. I decided to look it up and see what else it means. I was delighted to see some of the other definitions for the word. I was overwhelmed with how each one is appropriate and can somehow relate to our relationship with Christ.
1. to remain, continue, to stay...I long that Christ would remain with me and because I know He does what He promises, I know that He will (Matthew 28:20). I want Him to continue to be with me, to stay my constant.
2. dwell, reside... While Christ is not my physical abode, I do pray that He dwells within me; that He resides in my heart and mind and is Lord of all of my life. The bigger issue is am I dwelling in Him? Am I taking residence in Him and being found His? (Psalm 91:1,2)
3. to continue in a particular condition...I desire for my relationship with the Lord to continue to grow. I want to be in a continual state of growth and I want my attitudes to be more and more like His.
4. to put up with, tolerate...This definition was especially eye opening to me. If I am abiding with Christ the way that I need to be, then I will not be able to abide the sin in my life. I will be so much more aware of doing the things that I shouldn't and will make better decisions. I know that Jesus, in His perfectness, can not abide sin and if I am full of Him then I shouldn't be able to either.
5. to endure, sustain...With Christ I have all the power I need to endure whatever comes my way. This is a lesson that I have on repeat right now. I have everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
6. to wait for, await...I am awaiting the return of the Lord with great expectation in my heart. This time of year makes me especially aware of longing for His return as I reflect on His first coming. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
7. to accept without question...As a believer, I am building my life on the Word. I believe that it is true start to finish. Even if I am struggling in application, that doesn't mean that I can pick and choose what to believe and what to doubt. It's all true (2 Timothy 3:16).
8. to pay the penalty for...I have never understood this as a definition of the word, but how perfectly does it connect to Christ! Jesus came to earth as a helpless infant so that He might pay the price for my sin. Only through His death on the cross in payment for my sin can I be found righteous before God.
I know that I will never be able to sing the following words again without a deeper, more meaningful understanding of exactly what it means to ask the Lord to abide with me.
O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel