Abide in Christ: Gain Wisdom and Love


Abide, my #oneword2023 seems to have taken a backseat recently, as I have not had it on my mind. Yet, when I think back over the past month, many instances showed what a difference it makes when we abide in Christ.

Let’s first review definitions of abide found at Rhymezone:

  • verb:   put up with something or somebody unpleasant
  • verb:   dwell

I have not given the first definition much thought, though we all have to deal with unpleasant things or people at times. Sometimes the most challenging situations are in our own families. Some issues we can discuss and come to an agreement on or at least agree to disagree.

Other issues are out of our hands, especially when they go against God’s laws. In those cases, the best thing I can do is to pray for God to work. I can also limit interactions that will cause more dissension and find loving and compassionate ways to communicate. Though this may be hard, it is possible if I rely on God’s help.

 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

John 15:4-5

As I abide in Christ, spending time daily in His Word, meditating on it, and praying, the Holy Spirit gives me wisdom and understanding and changes me. My thoughts, words, and actions become more Christlike. As I relate to others, I can share love and encouragement even when we disagree.

Do I always succeed? Absolutely not. I make mistakes. Sometimes I’m grumpy and complain. Just yesterday, I was letting things frustrate me, and my words were not as kind as they should have been. I’m thankful that God is always ready to forgive.


Along with abide, my other #oneword2023 is savor. These following experiences gave me ample opportunity to savor the moments.

Last month we made an unplanned trip to New Jersey. The occasion was a memorial service for the passing of a brother-in-law who had been in a memory care facility for the past few years. His wife, my husband’s sister, was a beautiful example of abiding in Christ and sharing love as she faithfully visited her husband every day, sometimes staying long hours. They loved the Lord and each other and were generous in their love for others.

While there, we renewed family relationships, and I met family I had not known before. We shared an Airbnb with my husband’s younger sister and her husband. While there, we were met with something unexpected, and God taught us more about His compassion.


My husband’s cousin, whom he had not seen since boyhood, came with his wife to the service. It was a delight to get to know them as we conversed over dinner, knowing that our bond was deeper than family ties because we are also bound together as children of God. We have much in common when we abide in Christ, even when we’ve not spent time together.

Steve and me, his younger sister and husband, cousin and wife, older sister

Since New Jersey is a two-day trip for us, we were able to visit a niece for one night both ways. What a delight to spend time with her family, meeting her two-month-old daughter for the first time, and interacting with her two-year-old daughter! We also had good conversations with her and her husband and enjoyed playing games. Here, too, the bond was stronger because we all abide in Christ.


Before heading home, our final two nights were spent with friends who live in a house by a lake. They have been long-time friends, but years have passed since we spent time with them. (We had seen the wife a couple of years ago at the wedding of a mutual niece). Here again, is an instance where abiding in Christ makes all the difference. Though it had been many years, we felt right at home and had plenty to talk about. It was a relaxing and refreshing time for us before the last leg of the journey.

We walked a lot, talked a lot, watched a couple of movies together, and two of us spent a half hour one morning reading scripture and participating in a Zoom call. 

We even went on their boat for this year’s “maiden voyage.” That proved to be an exciting experience – fun and with some uncertainty. The boat had been checked out, and all seemed ready to go. We started slowly, then gradually picked up speed. It was exhilarating!

We were enjoying the scenery and having fun when suddenly the boat just stopped and would not restart. Then they realized that it had somehow taken on water underneath. So, they began bailing it out, but it seemed a slow process. 

There was talk of calling someone to tow us in, pointing out life vests, and joking about how well we could swim. No one seemed too alarmed, though, and they continued to bail. When the water lowered to a certain level, he started the motor to flush out the water. Then we returned to shore.

Here we are waiting

The problem? A hose had come loose, putting water into the boat instead of keeping it out. It was duly reinforced and should be fine now.


I’m learning that to abide in Christ means more than Bible reading and prayer. It’s letting Christ’s love spill over into our daily lives. It’s also demonstrated when we confess our sins to Him and He forgives. Abiding in Christ gives meaning to life, relationships and to everything we do, and reminds us to savor the moments.

Do you have a #oneword for this year? If so, how have you enjoyed it and what have you learned so far this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I’m linking up with: #oneword2023.

6 thoughts on “Abide in Christ: Gain Wisdom and Love

    1. Your poem about abiding touched me so deeply Gayl, especially as I was so blessed to come home physically after being in the hospital. But I am truly at home in Jesus every moment, since He dwells within me! Oh to remember that precious truth. Thank you dear poet/sister/friend!

      1. I’m so glad you were encouraged, dear Bettie. You have suffered a lot, and I am glad that you were able to get back home. Yes, He dwells within us, so we are always “home” in Him. Thank you for always pointing to Jesus and being an encouragement to me. Blessings and love dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo

  1. I love how you’re discovering new ways to abide and new people in which to see your words, Gayl! Your post is encouraging, as always. Thanks for sharing all the photos too. I enjoy seeing the beautiful scenery and faces. 🙂

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