Sunday, August 30, 2020

Truth 2

 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you;  rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning.  The old commandment - to love one another - is the same message you heard before.  Yet, it is also new.  Jesus lived the truth of this commandment and you are also living it.  For the darkness is disappearing and the true light is already shining.

If anyone claimes, "I am living in the light," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness.  anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble, but anyone who hates another is still living and walking in darkness.  Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.

1 John 2:7-11

Hate has no part.  No part in light.  It is only present in darkness.  I have someone I would "love to hate," but I cannot.  Jesus' example says I may not.  I realize that which I allow in my heart  - specifically to hate someone -- causes me to dish out on myself that very hate.

When that form of hate is unforgiveness, it inhabits sin and haunts my soul.  When I don't embrace (love) someone, I fail to embrace myself, not being far removed for the cause of hate in others.  Forgiveness has a big price tag.  Jesus paid that price so that I and my fellow Christian don't pay for it, except when we reject that forgiveness.  Then someone will pay.

Either the offender pays or the offended pays.  Sometimes both because compensation may not always cover the offense, even with good intentions.  So Jesus' work on the cross becomes paramount for my peace personally and relationally.  There is too much sin to manage on my own.

So, love, I must!  Forgive, I must!  I am ready to extend that which I learned from the one who loved first and best.  I am ready to forgive as freely as I have been forgiven.

To live in the light - the path lit, being able to see, being able to discern - is the course of true freedom.  "The way to go" can only be known when there is light.

Amen!

Make it so!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Intimacy

 Dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin.  But, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate who pleads our case before the Father.  He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.  He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins--and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.  

We an be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.  If someone claims, "I know God," but doens't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and not living in the truth.  But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him.  That is how we know we are living in him.

Specifically, those who say they live in God should livve their lives as Jesus did.

1 John 2: 1-6

This is the holiness standard:  avoiding sin, keeping Jesus' commandments in such a way that demonstrates an intimate relationship with Jesus.  It includes walking the same path as Jesus.

Where can we learn about intimacy?  The word here in the Greek, is the word for sexual intimacy, which is a metaphor for its other definitions.  It involves a meaning around deeper perception and understanding.  It is a comfort, a caring, a common experience, a shared history that allows for stability, growth and care of others.

That's my love life with my husband.  As we know each other deeply, our relationship is grown and is consistent.  Out of its strength and depth, we are both in a position to love others who need it.  Some marriages only have enough stability and strength to love their children or maybe their immediate family.  The ability to provide strength and stability demonstrates the marriage's depth and security.  The ability to be part of impact on a community comes from depth of relationship in a marriage.

Holiness is a relationship pursuit with Jesus Christ such that there is revelation and restoration for person, family and community.  The ongoing commitment to Jesus is about intimacy-building.  The comfort and care, a reflection on our past experiences together allows for stability, growth and care for others, as my marriage deonstrates.  It is proof of being on the same path as Jesus.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Rise

 God is so rich in mercy and he loves us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sin, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace that you are saved.  For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and sealed us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

Ephesians 2:4-6, 7-10

Over and over I read about the generosity of God and the sacrifice of Jesus to deliver these riches to us. These origins of the faith, I cannot forget:  my peace from His torture, my healing from His wounds.  Heavenly realms are spoken in the present tense.  It’s now.   

“He raised me up” is the song by Josh Groban:

            He raised me so I can stand on mountains…

            He raised me up to walk on stormy seas….

What low place might we feel right now?  How might we “sit” ourselves in the heavenly realms with Christ?  Take 2 minutes and breathe that truth.  

So God can point to us in the future as the example of his incredible wealth of his grace and kindness, to show what is available for those united with Christ.

A life of meaning comes from the design of God.  We are to be the example to a lost world of his incredible grace and kindness.  To allow His gift to us to flow out is a gift, an honor, a burden.  The world doesn’t always seem to welcome it, but we an do no other thing.  Consider how we can show grace and kindness in all the places we are.