Archives for November 2016

Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  • Featured Blogposts
  • All Blogposts

Rules and Regulations

The United States Code, the list of all the laws passed by the federal government, is 22 million words long. That doesn't include all of the state, county, and city laws that apply to you. You might also have professional standards, HOA regulations, and house or family rules to obey. Do you feel oppressed yet? That's a lot of rules! So many you couldn't possibly read them...

Keep Reading

Doers of the Word

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 1 John 5:1-2 Yesterday I wrote about what life can be like in a close, happy family. Not every family is like that, and to those with a pai...

Keep Reading

Family

Some of you visited family or friends last week for Thanksgiving. Maybe you met a new little baby who belongs to a loved one. Even if you had never met that baby before, you could probably say you loved him or her. How? The baby never did anything for you. You didn't know if you would get along with the child. But you love the parents, so you also love the child....

Keep Reading

Can’t let it go

I know a mother who, every year when her kids left for college, would give them a “mom talk,” reminding them to work hard, but more importantly to love God, love their churches, and obey God. Eventually her children started pre-empting her talk by giving themselves the “mom talk.” They knew it so well, they could recite it themselves....

Keep Reading

Love and Fear

Ultimately, John says love is what keeps us from fear. When we love God (shown by confessing Christ and obeying him) and love your neighbors, these are the signs that we abide in God and they give us confidence in our salvation....

Keep Reading

What are you afraid of?

Do you have lepidopterophobia? That’s fear of butterflies. Some people really are afraid of butterflies, but clearly butterflies aren’t objectively threatening or dangerous. For most people, fearing tiny colorful winged insects seems pretty ridiculous....

Keep Reading

Who we are and what we’ve seen

John summarizes the gospel here again in this verse. This time he emphasizes the idea of telling others - testifying. But who is “we”? John has previously referred to himself and the other apostles and disciples (the church leaders) as “we.” And that would makes sense here....

Keep Reading

What is Love?

You can use the word “love” for a lot of things. The way you feel about your family. Your tennis score. Your favorite food. An attraction to a crush. Even some harsh discipline might be “tough love.”...

Keep Reading

The Spirit of Truth

When a group of my old friends get together, we talk about things like “shimmy pops” and “the gator car.” Does that make any sense to you? I doubt it. We have our own shared language of inside jokes, phrases, and topics that remind us of the experiences we have had together. Maybe your friends or family have your own “secret language” that only makes sense to y...

Keep Reading

The Power of Children

We all know the saying “out of the mouths of babes”...

Keep Reading

The Gospel Standard, part 2

Yesterday we started to look at the standard John gives us for testing the spirits, that the Spirit of God “confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” The name Jesus Christ shows us that Jesus was both God and man. Now, what does it mean that He “has come in the flesh.”...

Keep Reading

The Gospel Standard, Part 1

Judges evaluate legal cases according to the law; editors evaluate writing according to a style book that sets out grammar and usage standards. These kinds of professionals have an objective standard to make sure they are making the right choices. They don’t have to depend on their own opinions or try to create their own rules....

Keep Reading

Test the Spirits

You hear about God every Sunday at church, but that’s not the only place you encounter teaching about spiritual things. You might hear a spiritual message from a friend or family member, or see an article posted on Facebook, or get a new book for devotions. Which ones are true? Can you tell?...

Keep Reading

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Believing in Jesus and loving one another are two sides of the same coin. John can't stop writing about it! Think back to the beginning of the book. Everything John wrote about remembering the gospel is the “believing” half of the commandment. We can't believe in Jesus if we don't understand who He is, what He did, and how we can be saved....

Keep Reading

The Spirit, God’s Gift

When John writes about obeying God's commandment, it's easy to start to feel that salvation is earned through obedience. Like you'll only feel confident about your status with God if you can be “good enough.”...

Keep Reading

Love and Believe

John tells us the confidence we can have in our salvation comes from obeying God, and he specifically lists one commandment: to believe in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another....

Keep Reading

God Knows

As we saw yesterday, it’s easy...

Keep Reading

Confidence before God

Do you ever wonder if you are really a Christian? Or if you have really been forgiven? John’s readers wondered this too! As we have seen already, John sets the bar high for holiness. He has said that Christians must be as pure as God is (I John 3:3), that no one who knows God can keep on sinning (I John 3:6), and that we should lay down our lives for our fellow believers...

Keep Reading

Faith and Action

As believers who have been made righteous by Jesus’ death and resurrection, will we continue to sin before Jesus returns? The answer is clearly yes, as discussed back in chapter 1. ...

Keep Reading

Choosing Rebellion

John paints a clear picture that this particular kind of rebellion against God and knowing God is not a matter of degrees. It is not gray. One cannot rebel against God just a little. John stands firm on the fact that this is a black and white issue....

Keep Reading

Transformation Now and Later

In the beginning of chapter three, John introduces an eschatological perspective. Eschatology is the study of the end times. In the Christian scripture, the end times have a distinctly “already” but “not yet” paradox. That is, in Jesus, we already have access to the righteousness and eternal living that we will experience in heaven...

Keep Reading

Receiving the Gift

Have you ever felt very undeserving of a gift? Maybe you won a prize that you didn’t think you worked hard enough for. Maybe your sibling forgave you even though you probably didn’t deserve forgiveness. Maybe you missed the mark of perfection, but someone told you, “I love you anyway.”...

Keep Reading
Subscribe