In just a couple weeks time my husband and I will get to move into our very first home together. It’s a brand new duplex and will soon be all ours to trace with the fingerprints and joy of new marriage.
We will move things around until the look fits ‘us’. I will purchase rugs and drapes and pillows of all textures, and yes, more candles to enjoy throughout the winter. Troy will create things in the garage and I will experiment in the kitchen. Legally, physically, even emotionally, it will be our home. Our responsibility. Our blessing. No matter what we do, we cannot make that home more ours, or less ours. In the sight of the law, it’s ours.
We get to abide there.
The word abide means to ‘continue, remain, last, survive, persist, stay; to continue without fading or being lost”.
I don’t know about you but I can abide in a lot of wrong things. Comparison. Fear. Understanding when it’s not mine to have. And on good days, I choose to abide in what God’s Word says about me, His character… life.
The Bible talks a lot about abiding. In fact the word is used in both the Old and New Testament 162 times. And most recently I read it in 1 John 4:16-17 (a really great chapter about the love of God!) – “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us…”
The beautiful thing about God’s love is that it’s never withheld, never more ours one minute than it is the next. Just like our home will be ours from the moment we get the keys to the day we decide to sell – it’s ours to abide in and enjoy and take care of. And eventually, over time, that home will begin to look more like us. It will take on the creativity and love that we invest in it. It comes with both blessing and responsibility.
There is nothing we will ever be able to do to make that home ‘more ours’, than the day we first get into it. Will it begin to feel more like home and will we find increased comfort in it? Yes. As we abide in it.
I love how verse 17 says that as we abide, this love is perfected in us. As we receive from the Lord the love He so freely wants to give to us, we are abiding in Him.
Matthew Henry writes in his commentary: He would persuade by love. Gospel privileges oblige to gospel duties; and those anointed by the Lord Jesus abide with him. The new spiritual nature is from the Lord Christ.
That is the gospel. Once you meet Jesus, you’re forever changed. And as you abide in Him, His nature becomes more yours. Slowly. With faith. And likely with stumbles along the way. But His love, it is still yours. Just keep abiding.
I know I was challenged, but I also know where I want to live! Wherever you are abiding lately – is it somewhere you want to make your home?