1 John P2R, Week 12

Last week’s passage for our memorization covered some hard ground. John contrasted the love which comes from God and is shared among believers—proving that we have passed out of death into life— against the murderous hatred of the world for believers, which shows that they abide in death.

In this week’s passage we find an appeal to live out our love for one another in tangible, life-sustaining ways, loving in deed and in truth. We also encounter the deeply reassuring truth that this kind of love is another proof that we are in Christ, or, as John writes, “of the truth.” And this proof reassures our hearts whenever our hearts condemn us. When doubt creeps in and the enemy whispers in our heart that we don’t really belong to Christ, “God is greater than our heart.” When we reassure our hearts by the truth to which our one-another love testifies, we have confidence before God and may approach him in prayer, in full assurance that we are his children because the love that we have for one another and our obedience to his commandments. Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week 12”

Fellowship With God; Confidence in Christ, Lesson 15

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:13-21)

 


We now come to our final lesson with John’s closing thoughts for his beloved children in the faith. Closing thoughts in a letter are often used to highlight the most important message the author wants his readers to take away from the reading, and perhaps a reminder of the point of why the letter was written in the first place. John closed this epistle with exactly these: his purpose for writing, and the important messages which he wanted his children to hold in their hearts and minds. John knew the people to whom he wrote, and that they were very dear to him is evident throughout. Our Father knows each of his beloved children even better than John knew his, and his love for us is also evident throughout John’s epistle. So read these final words of John as the Holy Spirit intended: written to you, dear one, to remind you of important truths which you are to hold in your heart and mind. Continue reading “Fellowship With God; Confidence in Christ, Lesson 15”

Reflections

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By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

Last week our Women’s Ministry Team met to reflect and share notes on our recent women’s conference, Compassionate Community, with Susan Hunt. The focus of the conference was Biblical Womanhood, as expressed in Titus 2 Spiritual Mothering relationships. As one, we all agree that Susan’s message to us was not only precisely what the local church, but also the Church as a whole desperately needs to hear. We were overwhelmed by the positive response to the conference—and by positive response, I mean women who were starving for this message were brought to feast on the bread of God’s Word and they left nourished, but hungry for more!

The following is the talk given by Jana to open our meeting, based on her own reflections on the conference as they corresponded with her devotional reading in John’s Gospel. We are all excited to see what the Lord will do not only in our own women’s ministry, but in the ministries and churches represented at the conference. May we be willing vessels, believing his promises and carrying out the works for which he has prepared us, firm in our faith, with humility and love for one another. ~Barbaranne Kelly


Continue reading “Reflections”

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 10

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

On any given day, if I don’t think about it too much, I’m rather content. Now, Scripture calls us to contentment, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Most days I’m content to simply be average: averagely comfortable, moderately productive, and conveniently involved in the lives of others. I will see what’s happening among others in my church community or ‘out there’ in the world and I can get energized or upset by current events, but only until it pushes me against my comfort zone, and then—that’s quite enough already; simmer down; back to average comfort. After all, I’m an introvert. A low-energy introvert. Don’t even talk about looking inward. This is how God made me. Leave me alone—I mean, I’m fine. Continue reading “Looking To Jesus, Chapter 10”