Monday, October 7, 2013

1 John Week 2 Assignment

Hello all. .
You made it through week one. .
Are ready to move forward to week 2?
I hope that you are not becoming bored with the chapter. .
I definitely didn't. .
My study time is usually right before I go to bed. .
many people do well with getting up and having a quiet time in the morning. .
me, not so much!!
 If I am up before I need to be, I am working out. .
that usually happens 3 times a week. .
otherwise, I just don’t/won’t get up any earlier than I need to. 
 But I enjoy that quiet time in my room at night. I try to read my bible every night. .
likely, I will end up reading 5 nights for sure. .
I HAVE noticed this past week. .
that John’s words hang with me throughout the day. .
You know, we ARE supposed to be hiding God’s word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) and I see this will be a great way to get that done!!
So before I get on to week 2 instructions. .
I wanted to talk a little bit about the word abide (in other translations, the word is translated as fellowship or lives in, remains in). .
I wrote earlier this week about being hit with that word the first 1-2 times I read 1 John. .
In a previous bible study by Cynthia Heald I learned a great word picture to show us what abiding looks like. .
I also took some time to do a little word studying this past week on ABIDE. .

it’s a verb. .
that means that we have to DO something. .
It’s an action. .
it means to accept. .
or act in accordance to. .
some synonyms include. .
comply with, obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, conform to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, act in accordance with, uphold, heed, accept, go along with, acknowledge, respect, defer to
 One of the best places that demonstrate how GOD defined abide. .
was also written by John. .
check out the gospel of John 15:4-6 "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. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned

Does that scripture make ANYONE want to be a branch that can’t abide. .
or worse yet. .
WON’T abide in the vine??
 God says. .
if we DON’T abide. .
we will be thrown away. .
dry up. .
cast into the fire. .
and BURNT! 
How many times have many of us HEARD that verse. .
How many times have you looked at each word and SAW what God was saying to us??
 Me. .uh, none. .until tonight!!
That is the incredible thing about God’s word. .
we read it and read it and read it. .
and then. .
just like that. .
the Spirit can make sense of it TO us. .
that generally happens to me. .
when I have prayed about wisdom. .
or when I am REALLY thinking and searching it!! 
But I digress a bit. .
So what would abide look like if we were humans and not trees or vines. .
Picture this. .

Think waaaaayyy back. .
to those dating years. .
You go for a walk. .
of course you are holding hands. .
Now. .if you COULDN’T let go of his hand. .
how far could he get from you??
 He could see everything that you were doing (all the time). .
hear every word that came out of your mouth (and God can hear every word IN YOUR HEAD)
You could only go where he led you. .
but because you were in LOVE. .
you WANTED to go everywhere he went. .
you enjoyed his company. .
you told him everything on your heart. .
you sought to know what was in HIS heart. .
You wanted to learn all about him. .
and you wanted to  be on your best behavior. .
you wanted to please him. .
Am I right about this??
So what abiding with GOD might look like. .
is you or I. .
holding the hand of Jesus. .
never more than an arm’s length from Him. .
seeking His advice. .
seeking to let Him lead us. .
and following obediently instead of fighting Him to go MY way. .
on MY conditions. .
God is LOVE John tells us in our passages this month. .
if we were ADHERING to GOD. .
do you think we could be ugly to someone or continue in a habit of sinning??
I am not sure if I could handle “that look” from Jesus . .
and in reality, since I can’t SEE Jesus/God (1 John 4:12) “that look” in my life. .
usually amounts to the uncomfortable burning in my mind or my stomach that tells me I am WRONG!! The Spirit convicts me with a knowledge. .

now, I think I must be honest. .
that even though I feel wrong about the sin (thanks to the Spirit) I sometimes make a CONSCIOUS effort to SQUELCH that word from God. .
and continue to do what I wanted to do in the first place. .
As Christ continues to grow my character. .
I have been able to minimize some of my old sin habits. .
still others I struggle with, as I am confident others do too!
A final note on the word abide. .
when going back to John 15. .
the chapter on Abiding as a branch in the Vine. .
each time Jesus told US to abide in Him. .
It didn’t say. .
I’ll abide in you so you will abide in me. .
It was a command. .
Abide in Me. .
And I will abide in you. .
It’s OUR responsibility to do the abiding. .
the obeying. .
the conforming. .
the following. .
the sticking to. .
and it’s HIS promise to abide in us!!
 One of my favorite quotes from the Message radio station on XM. .
 “If you feel like God is far away. .
He wasn’t the one who moved”

Hopefully that little narrative will give you something to consider as you read 1 John this week. .
Are you abiding??
Are you just an arm length away ALL the time
(because apart from the VINE. .the branches can NOT survive John 15). .
or. .are you abiding. .
just when it is convenient. .
or when you don’t have something else going on?
Or when you are EXPECTED to consider God?? I USED to live in that place. .
I’d say for about 35 years or a few less I lived there. .
But as I continue to give up the things of this world that are passing away (1 John 2:17). .
 and by God’s grace, be able to abide in Him more consistently. .
That concept of Abiding. .
is being perfected in my life. .
and it’s a comforting thing!!
(because I’m no longer in charge. .shhh. .don’t tell me!!)

Soooo. .
for Week TWO. .
Read at LEAST one different translation than what you have been reading. . is an excellent resource for that. .
at the top is a search box to type in 1 John. .
it defaults to King James. .
but you can scroll to get nearly any version you like. .
New Living, New Century, New International are all easier versions to understand than King James, New King James, American Standard, English Standard etc. .
Cool thing about biblegateway is that you can put up a parallel version at the same time and compare the language! 

Be prepared to tell everyone which version(s) you read through. .and any comments on that experience.
 Now, get your notebook ready. .
or you may want to type out a document on your computer or tablet to add to later. .
The heading should be. .
Attributes of God. .
spend the week listing WHO God is. .
it may be characteristics or attributes. .
it may be promises that He makes through John’s words to us (like He will abide in us, if we abide in Him)
 If I were you, I would consider either listing out the verse. .
or just the attribute. .
but list the chapter/verse next to your notation. 
This shouldn’t be hard. .
because of the increase of false prophets in the churches. .
John does a good job of reminding his Christian audience of who God is. .

And. .don’t just look for God’s name. .
Jesus and the Spirit are all included in our exercise since they are One and the Same!!

 AND. .
since God is working IN this bible study in a mighty way already. .
and I don’t say that in an arrogant manner. .
I say that because of His impeccable timing in my life for pertinent matter to YOUR life through this study. .
In a timely manner, I was directed to a FABULOUS narration of WHO God says He is. .
from Isaiah. .
and recalled another one in Job that I came to in a study a year ago. .

So, if 1 John IS boring you. .
get excited. .
there will be about 2 chapters worth of extracurricular bible reading this week!!
As I read through 1 John last night after putting all these thoughts down on paper. .
a second theme concept hit me. .
which will be a new word study this week. .
and another attempt next week to do some teaching on a biblical concept!!

I remember. .
reading the bible was very hard for me for a LOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG time. .
It bored me. .
I didn’t understand it. .
I didn’t want to make time for it, cause I wanted to make time for what I wanted to do in my few spare and precious moments each day. .
About 5 years ago. .
some very wise and  blessed teaching hit me square in the HEAD. .
that changed my life about reading the bible. .
I won’t bore you with the details. .
but long story short. .
I began to PRAY that Jesus help me find a desire to read. .
that He would help me make a commitment to read. .
because, honestly. .
that IS where the learning HAS to occur. .
We have to KNOW God’s Word. .
and thus know HIM. .
to change our lives!!
At first. .I only read a few nights a week. .
better than any sporadic verse picking and reading I had done before. .
and as I said before. .
I underline, highlight, circle etc, etc, etc. .and as I flipped back. .
I could SEE how the WORDS were affecting me and changing my life. .
Over those few short years. .
I have progressed from the milk. .
to the spiritual FOOD (1 Corinthians 3:2). .
which provides me the desire to KNOW it. .
K-N-O-W it. .
like uh, word studies and culture notes J
So. .
If you are still in the needing mother’s milk stage of your bible knowledge. .
I hope that I won’t choke you with some of the meatier things. .
because that certainly would NEVER be my intent!!
 I am PRAYING that your excitement of the bible. .
will grow over these next 4 months. .
as you begin to see what God WANTS you to know!!

If ever. .
EVER you have any concerns about what I write. .
or questions about something. .
or just flat don’t understand me
 (remember. .my mind moves FAST, and sometimes I don’t articulate things as clearly as they seem in MY brain. .since I obviously already know what I am trying to say) email me. .
you can email me personally. .
or you can call me in front of the group. .
We joked in a past bible study. .
but it IS true. .
Proverbs 27:17 CLEARLY tells us. .
as iron sharpens iron. .
one man sharpens another. .
that’s what this is about. .
we are sharpening our skills. .
and our personalities. .
and also know this. .
James 3:1 assures us that teachers will be held to a higher standard, and judged accordingly. .
I take that VERY seriously. .
so know that if I say it, I am relatively sure I understand it. .
I prefer to NOT think of myself as a teacher in this setting. .
more of a leader of discussion and thought provokefulness (is that a real word). .
but ultimately. .
I am learning myself. .
and hoping to teach you all what I am learning in that process!!
I’m human too. .so keep that in mind please!!

Remember to pray for direction for each of us in this journey. .
and more than anything. .
that our lives will be CHANGED by our increased knowledge of God. .
and His word!!
Blessings for a GREAT week!


  1. Mel.... no fair stepping on toes so early in the morning!!! I was wondering what chapters in Job and Isaiah you were referring to...
    I think I will read the Message as my different version, Sheila would smile and give me a hug... I know it! sigh

  2. Sorry about your toes ;-) I'm sorry, I neglected to give the Isaiah passages. .I will edit that when I am able. .but for now, it is Isaiah 40:12-31. Thanks connie!