I am working on finishing up the books of John. I've been enjoying them and learning much, how about you?
This mornings passage is entitled "Walking in Truth and Love". And that theme is very much present in this passage but there is more as well. Let's go through shall we? :)
1. Do you see John's joy? This family/church whatever it is... the youth are walking in the truth. What greater joy can believing parents have then to see their children walking for the Lord, living their lives in the truth of God! I know that's my greatest desire for my boy.
2. John goes on to remind this dear lady, that not only must we walk in the truth, but we must also walk in love. Truth untempered by love can be a dangerous weapon. But truth handled with love...wow... that is a powerful thing. It's not a new thing to be told to walk in Love. God has told us this from the beginning of time. LOVE each other. Pray for each other. Care for each other. We are family and we must act like it.
3. We need to be alert to this fact: the world is filled with deceivers. People determined to trick us with their own brand of religion. People who deny that Jesus can in the flesh. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Filled with them. This is the Anti-Christ at work! We MUST NEEDS be alert to this. And as we are alert to this we must be
4. watching ourselves. We can't be sleepy about our faith. Why? Do we seriously want to lose what we have gotten? What we have worked for? The reward of heaven. Do we seriously want to lose that. Sleepy Christians are in serious danger of losing this. I know that I struggle more with my faith if I don't do my daily devotions. They help me to remember who God is, who I am and what I am to do. Which is a good thing because
5. It helps me to abide by his teachings. The more time I spend with God the closer I am to him, the more I know how he wants me to live and the more I can answer those who fight against him. Do I do so perfectly? NO. I don't. BUT it doesn't change how God sees me. How I live reflects on what I believe. If I don't live the way God wants me to, then how can I have God living within? Makes sense no? :)
6. So John reminds us. If people come teaching something OTHER THAN God's own word know them for the deceivers that they are. If they don't tell you that living by the word of God means that the Father and the Son abide in you, DON'T believe them. If they deny Christ coming to earth and dying for you.. DON'T believe them. If they deny Christ as the very son of God. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. Just don't do it. Stick to knowing the God of the bible, anything else just doesn't cut it.
7. And such people John is very clear on this... have NOTHING to do with them. Don't greet them in a friendly manner. Don't invite them into your house. These are the folks who are actively working against God. Don't give them permission to do this. if you do, you are talking part in what they are doing...and how can we do that as believers? How can we?
I have to admit I do struggle with the last section a bit. Not greeting those who work against God? How does that show them love to perhaps bring them over to God? I can see being careful if you are a mother with children. You don't want to give your children permission to listen to such folk. You don't... so you don't invite them over and what not. But not even greeting them? Perhaps though this isn't meant in the immediate family sense but in the larger church sense. You don't want to be inviting folk or officially greeting them into your body of believers IF they are doing this that are NOT in accordance to the word of God. You don't want to be complicent in leading your own church family away from God.
What do you all think????