Digging in Deeper: 1 John 4:20

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

So, the first time we looked at this verse, we established the rather uncomfortable truth that we either love or hate the people around us. If we are not committed to intentionally moving them in the direction of Jesus, we hate them. It may not be an intense, emotional, passionate hatred the way we might normally think of when we hear the word, but throughout the Scriptures the word “hatred” often means to merely reject. Even without the emotion, if we reject the people whom God has accepted, we have a problem. What John says next makes all of this even more uncomfortable. 

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Morning Musing: Galatians 5:6 Part 2

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
– ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:6‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter

In our first look at this verse we talked about the fact that Paul did some serious boat-rocking when he said that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything. He waded right into the middle of a contentious cultural debate and announced that both sides were wrong. Whether you had been circumcised or not did not have any bearing on whether or not you could become a follower of Jesus. Jesus came for everybody and everybody can receive Him no matter the state of their…well, you know. 

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Love Flows Out

Yesterday morning in our journey through 1 John we finally got to the point of defining love.  What is love and what are the five implications for getting it right in our lives that John outlines?  Keep reading to find out.

 

Love Flows Out

Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus looked at the crowd gathered around Him and said this: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise.  We are treated as imposters, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

When it comes to sharing the Gospel with the world around us, our goal should be to make certain that the only offensive thing about us is our message, the Gospel itself.  Everything else about us should be a gigantic yes to the world.  Or, as Paul puts it here, we commend ourselves in every way. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: 2 Corinthians 1:4

“…who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Why does God comfort us?  Why does He extend any grace to us?  Well, the first answer is that He does it because He is gracious.  It is in His nature to do this for us.  The fuller answer and the one to which Paul is pointing here is that He does it so that we can pass along the blessing to other people.

God always acts in the best interest of the other.  His love always moves outward to find an object.  When that love is poured out on us regardless of the form it happens to take, it is intended not to stay with us, but to be poured out on still others.   Read the rest…