1 John P2R, week 11

Coming off a long hiatus from memorizing makes for a bumpy re-entry. Restoring this discipline to its place in my daily routine has been easier than reminding my brain what we’re doing. However, my efforts at discipline and my rusty brain aren’t the only players in this scheme. The Holy Spirit is helping me, and he will help you as well, to hide God’s word in our hearts.

Week 10 ended with the reminder that loving one another is the message we have heard from the beginning, which gives us a solid tether to week 11 starting with an event that occurred way back at the beginning: Cain’s murder of his brother, Abel. John links murderous intent with hate for one another, just as Jesus equated murder with anger in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:21-22). This is a deeper layer of the contrasts John has been using all through his epistle. Love for one another is life-giving; hate for one another is life-taking. Continuing the theme of children of God and children of the devil, John makes his case that children of the devil not only keep on sinning, but, like Cain, they hate those who are righteous with a murderous hatred. Continue reading “1 John P2R, week 11”

1 John P2R, Week, ….what?

Well, hello…

My best-laid plans over the holidays for slowing the pace for our Partnering to Remember 1 John fell pretty flat pretty quickly. Sometime in early December I announced that I would post in two-week increments instead of weekly, and then,… crickets. My apologies. Clearly, I underestimated the activity level in my home for the holidays, and/or overestimated my ability to keep up! Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week, ….what?”

1 John P2R, Week 10

This week our passage focuses on the differences between those who are “of the devil,” and those who are “born of God.” These differences highlight the evidence of who is who by the practices of each: those who are of the devil make a practice of sinning, and those who are born of God practice righteousness. John repeats the idea of “making a practice” to emphasis that he is not speaking of one who occasionally sins or does right, but of a pattern of life which is evidence of the condition of one’s heart. As we have already seen in this epistle, believers will sin, but it is not the defining characteristic of their lives. The defining characteristic of a believer’s life is that she has been born of God, and when the child of God sins, she may confess her sins, and our Father is righteous and just to forgive and cleanse! Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week 10”

1 John P2R, Through the Holiday Season

Dear Ones, Last week I posted a week late for week 10’s memory work. After speaking with a friend who is memorizing with us about the busy-ness of the holidays and her concerns about falling behind, I decided to modify our schedule through December. We won’t “take a break” from memorizing, but we will slow down adding to what we have memorized, allowing us the opportunity to solidify what we have already covered, and time to catch up for those who may be lagging behind a bit.

So, instead of leaping ahead to week 11, dedicate your memorization efforts each day to rehearsing what you have already learned, driving it deeper in your heart for a more secure mastery of the passages. Next week I will post for week 11, and two weeks after that, week 12, … you get the idea. We will resume our weekly schedule mid-January, when our Bible study classes begin anew and our resolve to start the year with newly-strengthened disciplines is refreshed (and the Christmas decorations are packed away).

May your holidays be blessed!