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Showing posts from October, 2020

Love One Another

If you had to pick one word to describe Christianity, what would that word be? In many ways, John suggests to us that love best describes what Christianity is all about: God’s love for us, our love for God and, as John points out in this next passage, the love we ought to have for one another. Listen for God’s word to you from 1 John 3:11-18… For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.   Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.  Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, [ a ]  if the world hates you.  We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.  Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ough

Who is a child of God?

On a cross-country flight many years ago, I took the opportunity to talk to the businessman seated next to me about Jesus Christ. He was rather unimpressed with most of what I had to say until I told him about my father and my father’s work in New York City trying to help teenagers get out of gangs. The courage, the goodness, and selfless service of my father to those far less fortunate than himself, really did impress this particular hardened New York businessman.   That is often the way of it. Non-Christians are seldom impressed by what we, as Christians, say; it is what we do that matters to them. John has a similar perspective on the Christian life. Hear what he has to say from 1 John 3:7-10 about who is a child of God...   Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.  8  The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared

Living in God's Family

In a world that desperately needs the love of a father, we have some wonderfully good news in 1 John 3:1-6. Listen for God’s word to you… See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. There are three important things that John tells us here about living in God’s family.  First, we have a relationship of love with the Father. What sort of love is this?