1 John 4:13-21 – By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.
What does it mean to abide? In my mind, it meant to live in, take up residence. Let’s look at the definition for a minute:
Looking at this portion of the verse helps me to see how God abiding in me in love casts out fear. We don’t have to be insecure because God abides in us. He loves us. We’re not afraid of God’s punishment, but when we abide in Him in love, we’re empowered to do His will and more than we ever thought possible. Now I know that on this side of heaven I will never perfect the art of being fear-free, but as I live in God’s love, spending time getting to know Him better through prayers, reading scripture and meditating, I become less fearful. I know that it is not I who am in charge of the results, but God. I don’t have to fear because God is in control. I’m not afraid of punishment because Jesus already took my punishment for me. Now I live in the freedom from fear that is given to me in the love God showed by sending Jesus.
We love because he first loved us.
What are you most afraid of? For me it’s rejection, but I know that there is one who will never reject me. God abides in me. He’s always with me, never rejecting me. Because of that love, I no longer have to fear rejection of others, because I know that He is in me. He abides in me. I can love freely because of the unconditional, eternal love of my Father in Heaven. I don’t have to be insecure anymore. I have the security of God in me; God abiding in me; God remaining faithfully in me. I have to remember whose I am. I belong to the one who is in me, my God.
Where are you abiding?
Sometimes we unwittingly separate ourselves from God. We spend time doing other things rather than reading His word, going to church or talking with Him. We don’t always remain faithful. We don’t always show love to others. We don’t always do the right thing. Why don’t we? Because we’re not abiding in God. We’re putting ourselves in God’s place. We’re focusing on the wrong things; money, success, beauty, ourselves. All of these things are good, but not when they get in the way of our relationship with God. If you find yourself in denial of God (by your words or actions), I beg you to reinvest yourself in God. Dig into the scriptures, pray or go to church. Surround yourself with others who are focused on Christ. To abide is a verb. It’s an action. Live as one redeemed. Abide in Him!