Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Twenty-Six

"But as many as received Him,

to them He gave the right

to become the children of God,

to those who believe in His name..."

John 1:12


Hello again, let's seek the Lord for our study time together....

"Father God in heaven above, today we will be reading in Your word about how You adopted us into Your family through the death of Your Son. My prayer is that as we read this today we will be blessed and we will feel closer to You as our Father. You are worthy of our praise and adoration.

I come before You to seek the forgiveness of sins so that I may hear from You. I pray that You will wash me clean, renew my heart, and purge my thoughts of sin. I pray that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit to overflowing.

I lift up to you each woman reading this study today. I pray she will learn more about her adoption into Your family. I pray she will come to understand just how personal her relationship with You truly is and what you did for her. I pray that You will walk with her today and give her courage and strength as well as peace.

In Jesus' name...amen."


To Be Called Children of God

Now that we have spent a couple of lessons looking at what sin is, we will return to 1 John chapter 3 to begin our expositional study of this chapter.

1 John 3:1-3

"Behold what manner of love is this the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed,we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

Our author, John the disciple, is now in his old age. He has lived through much and seen much, but now his duty is to write to the early church letters of encouragement. He chooses, in this chapter, to turn to the subject of the fatherhood of God.

I saw on the bookshelves at the library a book called, "The Bond". I read the book cover synopsis of the book and discovered that it is about 3 African American men raised without fathers. They formed a bond, a lifelong promise to each other to become doctors....successes....and not allow the legacy of father-lessness to continue. In the book, they discuss how their lives were greatly affected by not having a father around to teach them many things young men should know. But the book also interviews their fathers who reveal that they also did not have any relationship with their own fathers and how that affected their lives.

The topic of fathers is a very touchy one. I am often amazed at how many times, when reading autobiographies or biographies, I read about famous people not knowing their fathers and how destructive it is to their lives....and, consequentially, to our lives as well. For example:

Friedrich Nietzsche- German philosopher. Born in Prussia, his father, a Lutheran minister, died when Nietzsche was four and he was raised by his mother. He was convinced early in life that traditional morals and values represented what he called "slave morality" that created weak minds and resentful individuals who encouraged behaviors such as gentleness and kindness only to serve their interests. He denounced sin as nothing but a ruse to achieve a hold over people's souls and minds. Nietzsche calimed that new values could be formed to replace old value systems. He was the man to invent the term Ubermensch, or "superhuman race" that Hitler adopted as his own mantra for the Nazi Regime. (How Now Shall We Live?, 1999 pp. 11-12)

And we all know what happened as a result of that egregious philosophy.....

In the end, Nietzsche died in an insane asylum.

Would things have been different if the Lord had not taken Nietzsche's father when he such a young boy? Only God knows. But I think by looking at his life, we can see that this young boy lost some of his ideals when he lost his father. He lost his direction in life when he lost the only male influence in his life to direct him. For the rest of his life he seemed to be searching for something to fill his emptiness. Philosophy worked for a time, but not for long.


Our Father

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us....."

The translation of this verse is "Look at this!". In the original Greek this verse implies the author is saying, "Behold, what country or realm does such a love as this come?"

John is writing from a place of utter amazement that our Holy God would love us in such a way. It boggles the mind!

John is completely overwhelmed at the thought of being a member of God's own family. Now he wants us, his readers, to know and understand this same feeling.

Please read:

Jer 31:3

Deut 4:37 & 7:7-8 & 10:15

Mal 1:2

Is 41:8-10

God, the father of the Jews, claims that He chose them. He says that He will "uphold them with His righteous right hand" and He will "strengthen" them.

Now, we as Gentiles, are partakers in this bounty only because of the "righteous right hand" of God in the person of Jesus Christ.

Because of the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are no longer children of wrath, but children of God.

Eph 2:1-10

Rom 5:6

The idea of being adopted into this family of God through Christ is the strength and joy of every Christian. This adoption brings blessings to us because it affects our relationship with God. Our relationship now is personal.

If you look at the people of the world today, you can see how many of them are searching for fulfillment in their lives. They try to find that security that only comes from God. But they are searching for it in many other places.

Matt 7:11

Mal 3:6

God is our rock. He is our strength and our shield. It is He who does not change. That consistency is what gives us our security because everything around us is constantly changing. This lack of stability is what breeds fear among us. But when we have a set foundation....a set schedule.....a set of rules and morals that do not change, we find comfort there. We can say, "All things are crumbling, but at least I know God is still on His throne and will not be moved!"

Dr. R.C. Sproul tells a great story about the difference between an earthly father and our heavenly Father.

When his daughter, his firstborn, was about 2 years old, they lived in a small house while Dr. Sproul worked on his dissertation. One day, he was out mowing the lawn while his little girl pranced around on the porch. Every once in awhile she would jump off the porch and walk on the grass. Fearing for her safety, her father told her to stay on the porch. She would get back up on the porch only to jump off it again and again. Stopping the lawn mower, Dr. Sproul walked over to his little girl and told her that if she jumped off the porch one more time he would spank her.

Well, wouldn't you know it, as soon as her daddy went back to mowing the lawn, she jumped off the porch into the grass again.

So, he stopped the mower and walked over to her. Then he sat down and spanked her bottom. As he held his sobbing little girl in his arms, he said, "I told you that if you jumped off the porch again I would spank you. Now do you understand why I had to spank you?" With tears in her eyes and sniffles, his daughter nodded "yes".

Then she asked, "Daddy? What's a porch?"

And with that, the knife of guilt stabbed Dr. Sproul in the heart. He hadn't realized that she didn't comprehend what it was he was asking of her!

Contrast that to what our Lord does for us. Not only is His fatherly love perfect, but He does not give us anything that we cannot handle nor does he leave us work to do without enabling us to do it. But most of all, He makes sure we know what it is He is asking us to do. His word is perfect!

Earthly father's make mistakes. Earthly fathers leave us either by choice or by death. Earthly fathers abandon their children either physically or emotionally.

But our heavenly Father is eternal. When He adopted us, He entered into that New Covenant of Grace with us and claims us as His forever. He will never make a mistake, leave or abandon us.

And if we make a mistake and try to leave Him.....He searches for us:

Ez 34:11-16

These passages were written for God's people, but now they include us because we are now part of His family! All because of what Jesus did.

John 17:23

Jesus prays that God has loved us as much as He loved his only begotten Son! Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us!!

Praise Him today for being Your Father eternal.


Life Application

I had a friend in high school whose parents were still married. I was jealous because my parents had divorced bitterly and my dad left without one word to me. I wished I had a mom and dad like hers at home to provide for me during these years. Her mom never worked outside the home. They had a lovely Christian home that they provided for their kids.

My dad had left us with a mount of debt so that my mom had to work two jobs to pay the bills. There was little food in the house and at times we didn't have enough money to get things fixed.

Our once crystal blue swimming pool turned green with algae when the pump broke. One summer our air conditioner broke and we couldn't get it fixed. That was one HOT summer! It was so hard for me to see my mom working and stealing sleep when she could. It broke my heart to see her cry so much, especially when she told me we would have to sell the house to pay off the remaining debt. It had become too much for her to handle.

During all this, I rarely heard from my father.

As you can imagine, I was bitter and resentful. But I was uable to express what I was feeling and the resentment built up inside me.

It took 11 years for me to finally forgive my father for what he did to my mom and me. But the Lord showed me that even though my earthly father failed, He was there all along protecting me and providing for me even when I made ghastly mistakes too. I could have fallen into drinking and drugs as my siblings had. But the Lord spared me. He brought me to a small church family that cared for me and taught me God's word.

Now that I have released my anger and resentment, I have a relationship with my earthly father that borders on amiable. But I can see that my mother has not forgiven my dad and that bitterness and resentment has taken its toll on her life. It saddens me.

John 17:20-

The fact that Jesus prayed for me just amazes me to no end. That He said that God has loved us believers as He loved His Son should be cause for rejoicing among us!

I can go through life now just knowing that one fact alone. I have an eternal Father who will never hurt me or leave me or abandon me.....EVER!

And that is what makes life worth living. Poor Nietzsche, he died without having an earthly father or a heavenly Father. But now he knows the TRUTH: there is a God. And He is personal.


Until next time.....

"John is writing here as an elderly man who has been a believer for more than sixty years. Yet his heart is still filled with amazement at being born a son of God. He has never gotten over the initial sense of wonder at God's fatherly love. He is still asking the question, 'From what realm does this amazing love come that has broken in upon my soul and made me a child of God?' We must meditate on Scripture if we would have our hearts burn within us."

-Dr. Joel Beeke (The Epistles of John, 2006, pp. 112-113)



Sunday, February 24, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Twenty-Five

"Keep your heart with

all diligence,

for out of it spring the issues

of life."

Prov. 4:23


Good morning! Let's begin the week with prayer....

"Father, how exciting it is to be able to read more an more about You in Your word. As we study more about sin today, I pray that You will continue to convict us of our sins and bring us to the foot of Your cross for cleansing. It is because of Your sacrifice that we have life.

I pray, Lord, that You will empty me of my sinfulness and self-righteousness. I pray that You will release me from the bondage of sin through Your precious blood shed on the cross for me. I pray that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit to over-flowing so that it would fill my home and everywhere I go.

I lift up to You the women reading this study that You will be with them this day. Bring them closer to You and speak to them in those quiet times. I pray that as they read Your word today, they will be changed and renewed.

In Jesus' name....amen."


Sin and the Child of God

Last time we began our look into what sin is and its origins. This lesson we will continue to look at sin and how it affects the Child of God.

1 John 3:1-3

"Behold what, manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

Please read:

James 1:13-15

According to the scriptures, what gives birth to sin?

From where does our desire come from?

In past lessons, we have looked at King David's example of how a Child of God can fall from grace being led away from the Lord by desire. Let's go over this example briefly once again:

2 Sam 11

David, chosen King of God, chose to follow his desire instead of the will of God. He remained home satisfied to have his men fight his battles at a time when "kings go out to battle". David sent Joab, his servants and "all Israel" to battle while David remained in Jerusalem.

Please read:

1 John 2:24-25

David to do the will of God which left him open to the temptations of his desires. What enables me, a born sinner, to practice righteousness rather than sin?

1 John 2: 28-29

To abide in Jesus keeps us away from sin because in Him there is no sin and "if you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."

As I wrote in the last lesson, the only thing that separates me from my former brother-in-law who is now living in a drug induced world is the grace of God. I was set apart long ago by God for His will. He chose me and made me His own. If I abide in Him, I will not practice sin because in Him there is no sin.

Yes, but I still sin daily, don't I?

The Greek translation of sin in First John chapter 3 is on-going sin or continual sin without confession. So, if I abide in Christ, I cannot continue on in sin without reaching that point of confessing it because of the Holy Spirit.

Please read:

Prov 4:23

Jer 17:9-10

Matt 15:18-20

We know that sin began with Satan, but it resides on our hearts. After committing murder to try and cover-up his sin, David realized that his sin was within his heart:

Ps 51: 10-17

David asked for God to create in him a clean heart and he wrote that to God, proper sacrifice is a broken spirit and a "contrite heart."

Ps 34:18

Contrite heart is translated as: "those who are crushed in spirit"

This was something David knew personally as he stood by helplessly and watched his baby boy die because of his own sin. His spirit was crushed as he lay on the floor in his grief begging God to change His mind and spare his son.

2 Sam 12:15-23

What can we do about the condition of our hearts? As non-believers, nothing. But as believers, the Spirit has been given to us by God. This was done in the New Covenant. This Covenant was promised to Israel and Judah and then, graciously, extended to the Gentiles through the death of Jesus. It is called the Covenant of Grace.

When you prayed to receive the Holy Spirit on that fateful day, you entered into the New Covenant, or Covenant of Grace, before the Lord. You became a Child of God.

Matt 26:26-28

Jer 31:33

Jer 32:39-40

Ez 36:26-27

Only God can replace the heart of stone and turn it into a heart of flesh. King David learned this hard lesson. Perhaps we could learn this lesson before we enter into temptation and suffer the consequences of our sins!

What part does our will play in sin?

Deut 30:19-20

John 5:39-40

John 7:17

After reading all this lesson so far, what is it that keeps a Christian from a life of habitual sin?


What is sin?

1 John 3:4

The Bible is very clear as to what sin is: lawlesseness.

In this age, we are regularly told that everything is relative. There are no absolutes. "Only the Sith thinks in absolutes..." was a line from one of the Star Wars movies released in 2005.

Moral relativity is a strong philosophy of this world.

But God's word lays down the absolutes of life. Not it becomes our responsibility to know them, to abide in them, to cherish them, and to proclaim them to others.

Because whether man believes in God's absolutes or not, someday man will stand before the Lord and be judged by God's absolutes.

Let's look at a few Hebrew and Greek words of sin in the Old Testament and New Testament:

chata- this word means, "to miss the mark" and "to stumble and fall". It conveys the idea of coming up short morally. In the Old Testament, this word for sin refers to a crime or an offense.
Ex 20:1-20
avon- this Hebrew word for sin means "perverseness or going aside from what is right or good." The root of this word means to make crooked or bent what was straight. It is usually translated as iniquity or guilt.
Joshua 22:20
Ps 89:30-34

Jer 16:10-12

In these passages we learn that God deals with iniquity in His children and that iniquity is passed down from generation to generation.

pasha- this word for sin means "to break away from or to revolt or rebel." It conveys the idea of rebellion against lawful authority. It is often translated as "transgression."

Ps 107: 17

What did the people rebel against?

Ez 33:11-12

What does God say about the transgressions of the righteous and the wicked?

asham- this word means to sin in error or ignorance. It reveals that we sin sometimes without realizing it, but we are still held accountable. This word is often translated as "trespass".

Lev 5:1-5 & 15-19

The people has to offer the "trespass" or "guilt" offerings before the Lord to make the atonement of the sins they did not mean to do.

Prov 14:9

How do fools react to sin?

Is 53:4-6 & 11-12

The above verses summarize all that we have learned about sin. Jesus bore our griefs, sicknesses, illnesses, and pains and He carried them and was reckoned as stricken before God on our behalf. He was struck down and pierced for our sins and by the blows that struck Him down and cut His flesh we are healed because the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Praise God.

According to James 4:17, what is sin?

paraptoma- this Greek word means to side-slip or fall aside when one should have stood upright. It refers to a turning away from truth. It is tranlsated as "transgression" or "trespass".

Eph 2:4-5

Col 2:13-14

Eph 1:7

James 5:16

1 John 1:9

Today you did alot of Bible reading. I pray you found it rewarding to learn the many different words for sin in the Bible and how they are translated. We have looked at the origin of sin. We have read that it began with Satan and because of Adam, it resides in our hearts. If our sin is not dealt with, it costs us our lives.

Satan is the "father of lies" according to John 8:44

He distorted God's word and His character before Eve's weak mind. How has Satan distorted God's word and His character to deceive you?

Adam doubted God's word. He wanted, if only for a moment, to be like God. Have you been there?

Sin's outward manifestations come in many ways: gossip, lies, stealing, cheating, murder, sexual immorality, disobedience, strife, etc. Therefore, we can see the importance of looking past the outward manifestations and look deep into our own hearts for what sin is in us:

running your own life

thinking what you want to think

saying what you want to say

doing what you want to do

going where you want to go

being a "god" unto yourself

I like the analogy of "weeds in a garden" most when thinking of sin. I hate weeds and how they kill my flowers by hogging up all the moisture in the soil. If I let those weeds go, the roots will grow deep into the soil and removing them is near impossible. If I remove them as soon as I see them, it is easy to get rid of them without damaging the flowers around. And my garden stays lovely.

Sin is like a weed in your heart. If not dealt with instantly, the roots grow deep and it causes great damage when you try to remove it. But if dealt with immediately, God removes it and you will see little damage done to those around you.

But sin is sin. And it hurts everyone.

(Some material used by permission from Precept Upon Precept Ministries, 2001)

Next time we will go back to 1 John 3 and look deeper into what John wants us to know about God.


Life Application

Learning about sin can be difficult as we look deep into our hearts. Perhaps the Lord is dealing with a certain sin that you repeatedly commit even though you take it to the cross daily. I know for me, as I have shared before, that gossip is a sin the Lord convicts me of all the time.

Recently, I was able to talk to some middle school and high school kids I was tutoring about gossip and how it hurts.

I told them about how I got sucked into the world of gossip when I worked as a bailiff. It was easy to do because there so many "dramas" going on in the workplace with all those lawyers and sheriff deputies all around. I began to repeat stories I had heard because I liked it. It is that simple.

But I saw firsthand how I was beginning to set friend against friend by spreading gossip around and I didn't like myself at all. So, I prayed about it and gave it over to the Lord. He helped me work hard at not spreading around the news I would hear.

As I told these kids about how I didn't want to be labled a "gossip" by people, they seemed to understand. I told them I would rather be labled as someone people can trust.

Sin has a way of destroying those around you in many ways. I was fortunate that the Lord stopped me and saved me from destroying those friendships I now cherish.

Please read:

Rom 6:23

Sin earns something: death. Death remains on this earth because we sin.

Yearn to put an end to the sin in your life. Confess before the Lord this sin that you deal with daily and He will remove it from you.

Only then can we be trusted to do the work of the Lord and reap the rewards in heaven!


Until next time....

"Salvation is not merely deliverance from sin, nor the experience of personal holiness; the salvation of God is deliverance out of self entirely into union with Himself...but salvation means that the Spirit of God has brought me into touch with God's personality, and I am thrilled with something infinitely greater the myself, I am caught up into the abandonment of God."

-Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) (My Utmost for His Highest, 1935, March 13 devotion)



Thursday, February 21, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Twenty-Four

"For He made Him

who knew no sin to be

sin for us, that

we might become the righteousness

of God in Him."

2 Cor 5:21


Good day, let's begin with seeking the Lord:

"Father, this is a blessed day. Today we will look in Your word at what sin is and what it has done to Your creation....but we also will see just what it was You did for us: reconciled us to You through Christ Jesus. You provided for us the HOPE that was lost. I thank You for giving us that mercy and grace to be called the righteousness of God in Christ.

So, I come today to seek the forgiveness of my sins before You because I know it is my sin that keeps me from You. I pray that You will cleanse me today through the reading and studying of Your word. I pray that You will renew me and purge me of this burden. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit this day.

I lift up to You the ladies reading this study and pray that she will be convicted of her sins. I pray that she will be moved to seek You wholeheartedly for the forgiveness she needs. I pray that You will walk with her and encourage her today.

In Jesus' name.....amen."


As we begin Chapter 3 today, go ahead and re-read Chapter 2 and then read Chapter 3 in its entirety.

What is Sin?

This Chapter in First John is often called the "sin" chapter since it is mentioned 10 times in this chapter alone. The words "know" and "love" are mentioned 9 times each.

Apparently, John wants us to know what sin is and also what love is in this chapter. Hopefully, when we are finished, we will have a better and more complete understanding of what sin is.

The main theme of Chapter 3 is: anyone born of God cannot continue to practice sin.


As you read through the chapter, you saw that it is broken down into sections: Children of God, Sin and the Child of God, Imperative of Love, The Outworking of Love, and The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error (which leads into Chapter Four...)

Children of God

The Greek words used to express the phrase, Children of God, is teknia and it means: begotten of the Father. In Chapter 3 we will learn more about what it truly means to be adopted into the family of God through Christ Jesus.

1 John 3:1-3

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

But first....let's look at what sin truly means to the Christian:

Sin- what is it? How is it manifested?

Sin- what is its punishment? What is its cure?

Sin- that which separates man from God.

Sin- the one who pracitices it is of the devil.

Sin- that which God made Christ to be in order to reconcile us to Himself.

Sin- a doctrine we all need to understand.

Where Did Sin Begin?

Please read:

1 John 3:8

We read here that the origins of sin are obviously with the devil. When did this all begin? John writes, "from the beginning..."

Ez 28:12-19

What was the king of Tyre's state from the day he was created until unrighteousness was found in him?

Where was he?

What happened to him according to Ezekiel 26:16-17? Why?

We read in these passages that this King was the "seal of perfection" and he was given wisdom and perfect beauty. Not just beauty, but perfect beauty.

We also read that he was in Eden and that he became filled with violence-by the abundance of his trading. The sound of music was heard on the day he was created. He walked on the holy mountain of God and was perfect in his ways...until iniquity was found in him.

Tyre was an island fortress known for its trading with Israel (1 Kin 5:9-11; 2 Chron 2:10, Acts 12:20). It was considered a maritime power. And it dealt with slave trading as well. (Ez 27:12) Its King became rich with materialism. He became proud. He started to see himself as a great god ruling over the sea (Ps. 29:10, Rev 17:1 & 15) In the Bible, the sea is seen as a fierce enemy to the Jewish people. Its storms and creatures caused great chaos to the fishing businesses. It was seen as a means to bring Israel's enemies to its shores. That is why in the Bible, the sea is no match for God. He parts its waves and walks on its surface and calms it with His voice. But in the end, the King of Tyre will be thrown into and swalled by the sea (Ez 28:8) (New Geneva Study Bible commentary)

Many see the ruler of Tyre ( King Ethbaal) in comparison to Satan.

Please read:

1 Tim 3:6

As we see in Ezekiel, sin began with Satan:

Gen 2:15-17

Gen 3

Whom does Satan attack?

How does he accomplish his task?

Using these passages in Genesis, inn your notes, write out how Satan did the following three things:

1) how he questioned God's Word.

2) how he denied God's Word.

3) how he exchanged God's Word for his lie.

Satan uses his great skills of communication to mislead the weak-minded. Remember, the Lord commanded Adam regarding the fruit....Eve was not present at the time. So she was given the command from her husband. Obviously, both did not take the commands of God seriously or they both would have obeyed.

Satan is the master when it comes to twisting God's word around. But we are the foolish ones who do not take the commands of God seriously enough.

What does Satan say that eating the fruit will do for Eve? Remember what happened to the King of Trye....

Ez 28:17-19

" corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor..."

Eve's eyes were opened afterall and the relationship between man and God was forever broken.

How did their sin affect their relationship with God? They could no longer have fellowship with Him in paradise.


Sin's Punishment and Effects

In your own words, how would you define sin in Genesis 3?

To me, it is listening to Satan's lies, obeying Satan, and not obeying God's Words.

Please read:

Gen 2:17

What was the punishment for Adam and Eve's disobedience?

Did it happen?

Rom 5:12-19

How did Adam's sin affect mankind?

What is Adam's sin called in Rom 5:19?

According to Paul in Rom 5:19, how are many made righteous?

Who is the "One" Paul writes about?

Look at all we have learned in this lesson so far:

Sin began with Satan.

Sin is lawlessness.

Sin greatly affects our relationship with God.

Sin separates us from God.

Sin, our sin, affects all of mankind.

No one who is born of God practices sin (continually).

Whew! We went through alot today regarding sin and its origin. Next time we will continue to look at sin and where it resides in man.....

(Used by permission from: First John, 2001, Precept Upon Precept Ministries.)


Life Application

Looking at sin is essential to the walk of a Christian. We need to become uncomfortable with sin to the point that we are absolutely disgusted by it in any form, especially within ourselves. It is easy to point at someone else's sin, but when we need to look deep within ourselves it becomes a more tedious task.

Please read:

Gen 6:5-6

Prov 4:23

Jer 17:9-10

Before we knew Christ we were nothing but pure evil. If anything good happened to us at all it was only by the grace of God and nothing because of us.

Now, if God looks upon us at all He sees Jesus and is pleased because Christ is pure and perfect.

I remember well, when I was a young adolescent, my sister's husband back then was always critical of his brother who was doing drugs. He would yell and scream at him in such a degrading tone. He had no compassion at all for his brother who was very addicted to narcotics.

And yet my sister and her then husband did drugs too, but they were "casual" users of pot. Yet that was ok to them. As young as I was, I saw the hypocrasy in this. I warned them about this sort of drug use, but my warnings were met with laughter.

Now, this same man is no longer married to my sister, but he lives in his car and is doing hard drugs. He has no job and no money and no family. Yet, the brother he once degraded is sober and is seeking help at a rehab clinic and from his church.

As I look at what has happened these last 2 decades with my sister and her ex-husband, I have learned that it is best to look at one's own sins and seek forgiveness of those sins rather than brag about one's own "sinlessness" before God. God hears and God remembers.

It would be easy for me to judge them, but I would be foolish to do so since I know I cannot "cast the first stone" at any guilty person. I know it is only because of Christ that God can even look upon me at all. When He sees my Advocate, He smiles and is pleased.

Take time today to really look at the sin in your life. Why is it there? What is the punishment for this sin? What is the affect? What is its cure?

Seek Christ today and place at the foot of the cross all the sins you are confessing today. Leave them there and cling to Christ. You see, my sister and her husband had it all: money, excellent jobs, two healthy girls, all the fancy toys adults want, a nice home with a swimming pool, fun family vacations, lots of friends, etc.

But they did not have Christ. Now, they do not have each other and all the toys are gone. Scott and I used to envy them because we had hardly any money, low paying jobs, no vacations, and debt. But we had Christ....and still do.

I know I will spend time today on my knees asking forgiveness for envying the dead when I knew I had the living right here with me all along.

I pray you will do the same.


Until next time....

"People are hungry for security today. They look for it in the wrong places, and often go about it the wrong way. The only place in the universe where true security can be found is in the household of the heavenly Father, who is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no way to that security outside of believing on the Father and the Son."

-Dr. Joel Beeke (The Epistles of John, 2006, p. 115)



Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Twenty-Three

"And this gospel of the kingdom

will be preached in all

the world as a witness

to all nations, and then the end will come."

Matt 24:14


Let's begin with prayer....

"Father God, thank You for reminding us in Your word that this world is truly coming to an end. And all who are in the world will be held accountable to You in the end. Thank You for Your mercy and grace toward us in that You have given us a warning that one day we will all stand before You....some in confidence and some in shame.

I pray and ask the forgiveness of my sins because I do not want to hide in shame at Your coming. I want to be able to stand in confidence and speak freely when I see You. I pray that You will wash me clean with Your precious and holy blood. I pray that You will renew me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit this day.

I life up to You the ladies reading this study. As she faces a new week, I pray that You will come alongside her and encourage her as many different issues come up. I pray that You will convict us of our sins and keep us in Your word. I pray that she will walk with You today.

In Jesus' name.....amen."


When He Appears

The Lord is very clear throughout the Bible that there will be an ending to the world. By definition alone, what has a beginning must have an ending. And this world clearly has an end.

In our opening verse, Jesus gives clear instruction to His disciples that many things must occur before He returns. Because John was there when Jesus spoke, he wants the early believers to remember the wise words of Christ:

1 John 2:28-29

"And now little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."

As Christians, we know that when God said, "Let there be light..." time and space began. Our lives, our history as we know it has an ending. God will turn out those lights that we see and time and space ends.

Therefore, we would be wise to know that we all have an "appointment" that not even our deaths can stop. That appointment is when Christ appears in all His glory and we meet Him in a very personal way.

But Jesus spoke of many things that must take place before His appearing....

Please read:

Gentiles must come to faith and this is done through preaching the gospel message:

-Matt 24:14

-Ro 10:17-18

The Jews must return to the land:

-Ro 11:25-29 Paul wrote that all Israel will be saved when "the fullness of the Gentiles has come in". But right now, some are still blinded to the gospel.

False Prophets and False Christs appear-

-Matt 24:11

-Matt 24:5 & 24

-2 Pet 2:1

-1 John 2:18 & 22

-1 John 4:3

Apostasy from the faith & tribulation for the faithful will occur:

- 2 Thess 2:3

-1 Tim 4:1

-2 Tim 3:1

-Rev 3:10

-Rev 7:13-14

-Is 1:19-20

-Is 2:10-11

The appearing of The Antichrist:

-2 Thess 2:3-12

-Dan 7:25

-Dan 8:25

-Dan 11:36

All these things will happen before Christ returns. As we already know, the Apostles took the gospel message to many Gentile nations where many believed. And we know that the Jews returned to their land in 1948. Among us now are false teachers and the false gospel as well as the apostasy which has already begun. Next will come the tribulation in which the faithful will either fall away or suffer great trials.

The actual date of Christ's return in unknown:

Matt 24:36

Zech 14:7

Acts 1:7

We are to be ready for His return:

Matt 25:1-13

"Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."

Be ready!


All this John already knew because He heard Jesus' warnings in person. So, you can imagine the urgency in John's writings to the new church. We would be wise to heed this warning as well: Abide in Him.

Stay, remain, endure so that when He appears, we can have confidence and not be ashamed.

Ro 9:33


Life Application

As Christians, we are to look forward to the coming of Christ always. Do you look and pray for His coming daily? Actually, when we were waiting at the starting line at the marathon, I was hoping the Lord would appear before the gun went off.......

Do you earnestly seek His return?? I know that as I grow older, I certainly do. When I see what this world is becoming, I definitely do pray for His coming!

Last year, at the heralded Sundance Film Festival, a small independent film was wowing critics and disturbing others because of the subject matter:


This "taboo" that so far remains a taboo was dealt with in this film which showed men who love having sex with horses. Many of the critics, as Liberal as they are, were sickened with how the director handled this twisted subject. He tried to liken the man/beast sex act with normal man/woman sex.

If this subject still makes ultra-Liberals uneasy, it is a miracle. Because you and I know that soon this subject will be readily accepted world-wide. And that day is coming sooner than we think.

This is why I pray for the Lord's return. I do not want my son to grow up in a world that is so darkened by sexual sin. I weap for those unsaved people who will remain here on earth after all the Christians are taken away with Christ. With us will go all the morality in this world.

If we think things are bad now, imagine this world when all morality is gone.

Ladies, this is why we must be ready for His appearing. We want to be able to stand in boldness and confidence at His coming.

John wrote: "When He appears..." and this literally means when Jesus is unveiled and set before us. What a glorious sight that will be!

Just think of the young bride on her wedding day. She is giddy and excited for her groom to see her in her finest apparel. She does not want to hide and cower in shame at his arrival because her dress is soiled or ruined or that her veil is torn. She wants to stand and receive him as her own. She prepares many months in advance to ensure that this day....this ONE so special, so set-apart from all the others days.

The groom sees all this preparation as a sign of her love for him. Imagine a groom seeing his bride only spending a few minutes preparing for her wedding day. How would he feel?

Those who claimed to be Christians and yet fell away from the Truth of God's word will run in shame at His appearing. Those who turned away and followed the false christs or false gospels will be ashamed at his glorious appearing.

"If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."

So, John tells us to be ready for His appearing....because if we claim to be Christians, then we will not only abide in Him but fervently WANT to abide in Him. That is what it means to know truly know Him as our bridegroom.

Be ready for your bridegroom who loved you so much He willingly hung on a cross and bled for you until His death. Then, He conquered death for you so you no longer have to fear!

Prepare yourself for that special day when He appears. Show Him how much you love Him by preparing yourself for Him.

Please read:

Eph 4:20-24

Ro 8:13-14

Ro 12:1-2

Ro 12:21

Then you can stand in all confidence at His glorious appearing and see Him as He is.


Until next time....

"In the person of Christ meet together infinite glory and lowest humility. Infinite glory and the virtue of humility meet in no other person but Christ. They meet in no created person, for no created person has infinite glory; and they meet in no other divine person but Christ."

-Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) (Altogether Lovely, 1997, p. 22)



Sunday, February 17, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Twenty-two

"For this reason I also suffer these things;

nevertheless I am not

ashamed, for I know whom

I have believed and am

persuaded that He is able to keep

what I have committed to Him

until that Day."

2 Tim 1:12


Welcome back, I hope you had a good weekend....let's pray:

"Dear Father God, I am so grateful for the time You gave me with my family this weekend. It is because of Your grace and mercy that we are able to have wonderful times of fellowship at all. May we always be grateful and never take it for granted.

I seek the forgiveness of my sins today, Lord, because I know I have sinned against You. I pray that You will wash me clean...purge me of my hyssop, and renew a steadfast spirit within me that I may hear from You and do Your works.

I pray and lift up each lady reading this study today. I pray that You will reveal more of Yourself to her through this study. I pray that the Holy Spirit will encourage her as she deals with many issues throughout the week. I pray that she would earnestly seek You and walk with You.

In Jesus' name....amen."


Confidence in God

In today's lesson we will look at 1 John 2:28-29 and what the Lord is saying to us in these verses. We have looked at abiding in Christ before, but now we will look at why we need to abide in Him.

1 John 2:28-29:

"And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."

Jesus spoke to the Disciples about His second coming. He hinted at what was to come, but the Disciples didn't fully comprehend all that was being said just yet. In 1 John, the author has a full and complete understanding of what Jesus meant and now he wants us to know and be prepared.

Please read:

1 Thess 4:1-2

Matt 24:44

God spoke through Christ and through Paul to help us prepare for the coming of Christ. Jesus said that we are to "be ready" for the coming.

John wrote that we are to "abide in Him that when He appears we may have confidence...."

How will Jesus appear?

Acts 1:9-11

Zech 14: 3-4

Ezek 11:22-23

Jesus will return in His resurrected body coming in the clouds of heaven just as He left.

Col 3:1-4

Jesus will appear in glory .....and we will be with Him in glory.

2 Tim 4:7-8

Paul looked forward to the Day when Christ judge His people because he knew his reward was waiting for him.

John also wants us to be ready for the Day of the Lord.

How do we get ready?

Col 3:12-25

Paul gives us a list on how we, the elect of God, are to get ready for the return of Christ:

Put on.....
  • tender mercies
  • kindness
  • humility
  • meekness
  • patience
  • forgiveness
  • LOVE

Paul calls LOVE the "bond of of perfection" (Eph 4:3) of the "bond of peace" with other believers.


So that "peace of God" may rule in our hearts because we were called in "one body".

Then he tells us to let the word of God "dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching, and admonishing one another..." with singing.

Then he gives us commandments for the home:

  • wives submit to husbands
  • husbands love your wives
  • children obey parents
  • fathers do not provoke children to wrath

Then he considers the workplace:

  • obey masters with sincerity of heart
  • do everything heartily as to the Lord and not men
  • serve the Lord Christ

It is through our obedience that we will be prepared for Christ's coming. That is what we have learned about the word: abide.

Remember that our obedience is what matters to the Lord:

Jer 9:23-24

The Lord's return should always be on our minds:

1 Cor 15:56-58

Matt 24:36-44


"We may have confidence and not be ashamed at His appearing...."

When I first stepped in front of my class for the first time at Glendale Community College, I had ZERO confidence in my abilities to teach. I suppose it showed because I didn't get a great student review at the end of the year.

The only way I finally found my confidence was when I learned to teach. I became prepared by studying how to teach and learning from those who taught for decades. By listening and studying, I became a confident teacher. Now I have no problem standing before a class full of 12 yr. olds or 20 yr. olds because I have confidence, boldness, assurance in my abilities....not conceitedness or cockiness, there is a difference and we will find out what that difference is below.....

Mark 8:38

John wants us to be able to stand in boldness and confidence at the coming of the Lord and not be ashamed as Adam and Eve were when the Lord appeared to them:

Gen 3:1-10

The word for "confidence" found in 1 John 2:28 is from the Greek word: parrhesia and it means:

out-spokenness; frankness; bluntly; assurance; boldly; freely; plainly.

Contrast that with how Adam and Eve reacted. Did they feel they could speak frankly or boldly before the Lord?

This is how John and Paul and the author of Hebrews want us to feel at the appearing of the Lord:

Heb 3:6

Heb 10:35-36

Acts 28:30-31

Not cowering in shame and hiding from Him because of our disobedience. How can we have that boldness, that confidence?

2 Tim 1:12

We should know the Savior. We should know the One whom we have believed.

Matt 6: 20-21

He should be our treasure....for where our treasure is, our heart is also.

Matt 19:21

Finally, to have that boldness and confidence in the coming of the Lord....we are to be watching:

1 Cor 16:13-14

Eph 3:16-17

Eph 6:10

Luke 11:21-23

Guard your "palace" and stand with the Lord. Put on the whole armor of God!

Eph 6:11

Next time we will look at what has to occur before the Lord comes. As we look further into the coming of the Lord....stay diligent! Abide in Him through the reading of His word. Make Him your treasure.


Life Application

If we truly want to have that confidence and boldness at the coming of the Lord, to be able to stand firm in His presence as He comes for us....then we are to truly know the One whom we believe.

Jer 9:23-24

As we read above, these verses reveal to us what is considered a "delight" to the Lord:

for us to understand and know Him. That is truly the Greatest Good for all mankind.

The more you know the Lord whom you serve, the greater it is for you because He is everything we need: the food we eat, the water we drink, and the shelter we need.

Praise God that He gave us His word to treasure. Now we have the written word that reveals who He is and how to come to Him. What a loving and merciful God to allow this.

He warns us not to glory in wisdom:

Is. 47:10

Nor glory in one's might and power nor riches:

Eccl 9:11

Ps 33:16-18

But instead, He wants us to glory in this:

That we understand Him and know Him....that He is exercising in lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.

This is what He delights in!

So, as we go out into our week, may we take these precepts with us. We know how to know the Lord and how to please Him. Now we just have to do it!


Until next time.....

"First, abiding in Christ means receiving Christ by faith and continuing in Christ by faith....if you are to continue in Christ, so that you will be 'confident and unashamed' when he comes again to this earth, you must sink your life into God's truth and be nourished by it. The Bible is the food that God has given to nourish our souls. It is vital to our psiritual well being and growth. Feed upon God's Word; allow it to teach, train, and guide you. Abide in Christ by abiding in his Word."

-Dr. Joel Beeke (The Epistles of John, 2006, pp. 103 & 104)



Thursday, February 14, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Twenty-One

"He who has My commandments

and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.

And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father,

and I will love him and

manifest Myself to him."

John 14:21


Let's seek the Lord this day....

"Father, as we study today about what it means to have the trith abiding in us, may we never forget what You did to ensure our salvation. May we never take it for granted.

I pray that You will search me for my sins and purge me with Your hyssop. I pray that You will cleanse me of all unrighteousness and renew a steadfast spirit within me. I pray that You will fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit this day.

I lift up to You the ladies reading this study. Each with her own needs and concerns. I pray that You will give her that peace that passes all understanding and help her to cast all her cares upon Your perfect shoulders. I pray that she will walk with You this day and earnestly seek Your will for her life.

In Jesus' name.....amen."


In our opening verse, we have Jesus telling His disciples that their obedience to God will keep them close to Himself. He teaches them that whoever loves Jesus will be loved by the Father. Notice when this conversation takes place: at the Passover meal with His disciples.

Jesus knows that His betrayer is among those reclining at the table. Yet His focus isn't on the one who will betray Him, it is on the ones who will serve Him and even die for His commandments.

Ladies, this lesson will be on how the Truth is abiding in us even though we are among those who are antichrists, we have that Light shining in us and if we keep those commandments which we have heard from the beginning.....we have that protection from the world and from God's wrath that was given to us through Christ Jesus.

1 John 2:26-27

"These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it taught you, you will abide in Him."

As John reminds us here in this epistle, he also wants to encourage us as is his usual pattern in this book. He tells us that what he is writing isn't anything new. We know that we are supposed to keep the commandments of God:
Please read:
Ex 20:1-17
1 Thess 4:3
1 Thess 5:16-22
Prov 3:31-33
These are all verses that we would be wise to memorize because they will help us remain pure in Christ just as He is pure.
Let's look more closely at 1 Thess 5:11-22
These verses are excellent exhortations that Christians should know:
We are commanded to recognize and esteem those who do labor for the church.
Warn other believers idle, comfort those who are weak and fainthearted.
We are commanded to be patient with all believers.
Paul commands us to pursue what is good.
We are told to rejoice always....even in bad times.
Pray without ceasing....that means all day long everyday.
And to give thanks in everything.
This is the will of God for your life! So the next time you hear someone asking how they may know the will of God for their lives, take them to 1 Thess 4:3 & 5:11-22. Then they will know the will of the Lord!
Like John, Paul tells us to abstain from every form of evil...only he puts it more bluntly.
This is the Truth that we know. I am not teaching you anything new. But I am reminding you as well as myself that we are to obey these commandments in order to abide in Christ. Jesus tells us that by obeying, we love Him and He will manifest (reveal) Himself to us.
2 Tim 2:22-26
God can use a gentle and patient heart in order to bring those in opposition to the faith and knowledge of Christ.
Paul wants us to purse Jesus wanted us to pursue righteousness:
Matt 6:33
Paul commands us to abide with God at all times when he commands us to "pray without ceasing".
When I was in high school, I attended a youth camp in Glorieta, New Mexico the last summer before college. While there, I met a godly young man who was also graduating high school and going on to college to be a missionary since his parents were also missionaries in Africa. He was such a pleasant young man...I had a crush on him!
One night, he gave his testimony to the whole camp and read 1 Thess 5:17. I'll never forget his words of wisdom that we are commanded to pray at all times. We are never to stop praying....through the good and bad times.
His message stayed with me and I think of it even now over 20 yrs. later. This is how John wants to remind us: we know these truths. He is writing these things because he knows there are antichrists out there trying to deceive us.
They want us to forget to pray. They want us to think we can do things on our own. They want us to think we are better than others and not to serve others. These antichrists want to deceive us into thinking our husbands do not love us or that we do not love our husbands. They want us to think God is only about love and not about holiness.
John's fellow believers were being deceived in the same ways we are to this day because Satan has no other game plan. He has to regurgitate the same methods over and over again hoping his lies will work this time.
What keeps us from believing the lies?
Please read:
Prov 6:23
Prov 2:10-12
It is the Law of God- His Word- that shall keep you from these perverse lies of the devil and his minions.
"But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you...."
We have that Law of God, His anointing of the Holy Spirit, and Christ all within us. Because we have all this, we have discretion and discernment.
"..but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it taught you, you will abide in Him."
What a glorious promise this is! John, like Paul, wants us to remember what we have in Christ so that when the temptations come.....we can have that perfect defense. Christ Jesus within us.
Take this with you today. Remember to pray without ceasing. Remember to rejoice in all things. Comfort those around you. Be patient with believers you fellowship with. Abstain from every form of evil.....and above all, abide in Him by staying in His Word.
And He will abide in you.
Life Application
1 Thess 4:3-
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification...."
For me, this verse really emphasizes the importance of our separation from the world we live in. I wish I had memorized this verse when I was younger and perhaps I would have abstained from sexual immorality. I pray I can teach it to my son so he will remain pure.
Ladies, this lesson isn't anything new to you. You have heard this before, but the Lord laid it on my heart to remind you. We must pray for our husbands and our children to remain pure regarding sexuality.
So many times we think: this cannot happen to me. My husband, child, or myself, cannot possibly fall into sexual sin!
But it does happen and the cost is high.
Lift up your husband today in prayer that the Lord will help him remain separated from the world. That the Lord will help him flee sexual immorality and abstain from every form of evil.
He faces a world filled with many sexual images all around him. More so now than when we were younger!
He needs you to pray for him. Pray for yourselves as well. I know I need it! Sexual sin is something the Lord will allow me to deal with for the rest of my life. I know that I can easily fall into that I pray for my sanctification daily. I covet your prayers too!
Pray and ask the Lord to teach you how to possess your own vessel so you can be used by God. For God did not call us to "uncleanness, but in holiness" as He is holy above all.
Pray without ceasing.
Until next time....
"Now this sort of purity of heart is absolutely necessary in order to our coming to see God. There must be a renunciation of all impure and lascivious practices and conversation. They who live in the indulgence of such a lust in one kind of practice or another, or though it is only with their eyes or in their thoughts, are impure hearts, and shall never come to see God unless they have new hearts given to them. They who have pure hearts abhor and are afraid of such things (Jude 23). They take heed that they do not prostitute their souls to so much as mental and imaginary sins, much less to practical impurities and works of darkness."
-Johnathan Edwards (1703-1758) (Alogether Lovely, 1997, p. 172)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Running the Good Race


I ran last Friday..3 miles. It felt great! It was still a little cold outside, but better to bundle up rather than be extremely hot!

I did 4 miles on Monday and felt great. Some knee pain at the beginning.

I will run 4 miles again today and then hopefully be at 6 by the end of the week. Then I will begin training for a 5k race and 10k race this year as well as the 1/2 marathon in Jan.

One of my former 6th grade students told me she ran a 5k race 2 weeks ago and ran 5 miles in the morning BEFORE school on Monday. All at age 11!

Sheesh! What an inspiration! So glad I finished that darn marathon....imagine what a let down it would have been to this wonderful student's ambition!

God is good...

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Twenty

"For God so loved the world

that He gave His only

begotten Son, that

whoever believes

in Him shall not perish

but have everlasting life."

John 3:16


Good morning, ladies...let's seek the Lord:

"Father God, as we look into Your word this morning and study what it means to have this gift of eternal life which You promised, may our eyes be opened to Your precepts and may You be blessed. I pray that You will reveal to us new and exciting things about the promises that are "yes" in Christ Jesus!

I pray and ask the forgiveness of my sins. I pray that You will search me and cleanse me of all my iniquities this day. I pray that You will restore me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

I pray that You will be with each lady reading this study today, Lord. That You will search her heart and change her through the reading of Your word. May You encourage her to face all the tasks set out before her. Lift her up and set her on the straight and narrow path that leads to life.

In Jesus' name.....amen."


Promises, promises...

Today we hear so many promises being thrown at us especially from the Presidential candidates who promise us they can end all wars and bring us peace and change...change that will make our lives better.

But we would be wise to heed the Word of God at a time like this where He has made promises and has delivered on those promises time and time again.

As we begin this lesson today, we will be looking at what it means to abide in the Word of God and what the promise of eternal life means to us.

1 John 2:24-25:

"Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us- eternal life."

The most significant and damaging way that Satan has turned many away from Christ is through the story of "the beginning" of all creation. He has successfully made people doubt the Bible's account of how all came into being. And he has cleverly designed a way to influence people that his very existence is a fable and myth.

"Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning....."

Please read:

Ps 119:33-40

Prov 2:6

We have heard from the beginning that it was God who created the heavens and the earth...and that this earth is passing away. To abide in the precepts of the Lord is the path to wisdom and He gives us that wisdom liberally.

Ps 49:1-9

Contrast what the Lord has promised with what man promises....riches, materialism, a long life.

Empty promises that cannot lead to wisdom and eternal life. The riches of this world cannot redeem anyone. The materials of this world cannot save anyone's soul.

Remember what it means to "abide". It means to dwell, stay, continue, be present, remain, endure, stand.

John reminds us that if what we heard from the beginning abides in us, we will abide in the Son and in the Father.

My family has been tempted to leave our very small church and go elsewhere so that Nathan will have a youth group to participate in as he enters high school soon. We also fear that our little church will not last long since we have financial issues. But we also know that not many churches out there teach the Word of God expositionally, especially to their youth. We have seen other families leave our church and take their high school aged children with them only to see those same children fall away from the Lord because they are no longer being taught His precepts.

Now those parents are dealing with rebellious children becoming rebellious adults.

As long as we stay at our church, we know that our son is hearing the Word of God being taught and honored. So, we will stay and pray for our church to repent and be healed so that the Lord can use us and we can grow. It takes patience and it takes time....but honoring God's Word will be rewarded.


"And this is the promise that He has promised us-eternal life."

The promises of God are nothing to smirk at. He does not promise us better stock options or lower gas prices. He does not promise to bring peace to us all.

His promises are far greater than just this world:

John 3:14-16

John 6:40

John 17:2-3

Jesus is saying here that to know God and Jesus Christ is eternal life. Remember, God did not create in order to fulfill a need in Himself...He is eternal, there is no need in an eternal, He created to be known.

To be is to do.

He knows that to know Him and all His attributes is to know eternal life.

Jer 9:23-24

Let us not respond to the promises of God as Abraham and Sarah did:

Gen 18:1-15

Let us not laugh nor think that God is not glorious enough to grant us eternal life. Let us remember who He is.

Ps 20:7-9

Ps 44:7-8

Is 41:16

It can be tempting to consider our God too small or too weak to fulfill all the promises He has made simply because we are so accustomed to men breaking their promises day and night. We tend to see the Infinite in light of the finite.

Ps 84:5

Ps 37:1-5

But our God is so great. He has sworn on His own deity that He will keep His promises just as He said.

This is what John wants us toremember: that which we have heard from the beginning.

Jesus Christ came to set us free from death. In Him is eternal life.

Abide in that promise....abide in Him and He will abide in you.


Life Application

As Christians, it can be so frustrating to live in this world and yet try and be separated from this world at the same time.

We see and hear about evil people prospering all around us and yet we read or hear of Christians who are persecuted for their faith.

Ps 37:7-11

But God wants us to remember that the evil person will soon face their end. And the meek, the humble, shall inherit the earth and have the abundance of peace.

How long do we have to wait, Lord?? This is what Habakkuk asked God too...

Habakkuk 1:1-4

But the Lord responded to him in this way:

Habakkuk 1:5

He will respond to the evil and violence in this world. Habakkuk knew this:



And he reminds us of the truth:


There should be no fear from us about the future. No matter what happens in the coming months, the Lord is still in His holy temple on His throne.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

"..Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

Let that be our hymn of faith today. Let us meditate on the promises of God: that He is our salvation forever and ever. Amen.


Until next time.....

"We ought to read the Scriptures daily to inform our minds and nourish our souls so that when temptations come, whether moral or theological, our hearts will be taken up with Christ and His truth and we will say, 'How can I believe or do what is against Christ? How can I sin against God who has loved me, who gave His Son for me, and who is preparing a home in heaven for me?'"

-Dr. Joel Beeke (The Epistles of John, 2006, p. 100)