ABLE Starts with an A
Our strategy is ABLE: We will Abide in Christ to Build Relationship and Live the gospel with Everything. This all begins with understanding what it means to "abide". Everything flows out of our abiding. Abiding means "to remain" or "to stay". It is our identity in Him.
1 John 4:12-13,15-16 has six mentions of the word "abide". To begin to abide, we DO NOTHING. We rest in who He is. Abiding is not something to attain, but instead it is something to remain. For example, a baby in the womb in just "being", not striving. The mother does the work. Another example would be that you have a family name. You don't need to "try" to be that name...you just are!
We are to yield and surrender to Him. We also have the joy of doing this in community. When we abide, we love well because our life is supposed to be given away.
1 John 4:7-8 calls us "beloved". You are loved by the Father, and if you confess Christ as Lord, you will be marked with a loving Spirit. The Trinity is perfectly loving and unified, and we are made in His image. He says, "be like Us". Love each other. In verse 9, Jesus was a tangible example of this. Because of His sacrifice, we moved from objects of wrath to God's beloved. Now, we are to love one another.
1 John 4:17-18 says, "By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." This word "perfected" is in the passive voice, which means that the subject is being acted upon. We are being fingerprinted. Perfected means, "completeness, wholeness, or maturity", and it comes from abiding!
We have no fear in love:
A. We can love without risk
B. We don't fear judgment because we know Whose we are
2. We can love really well
To Discuss Today:
1. What does it mean for you to "yield" and "surrender" to God?
2. As we get older, we should become more loving. Is this true of your life? Do you have more smile lines or frown lines? Why?
3. What fear has been taken away from your life as a result of God's love?