Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Sixty-One

"But one of the soldiers

pierced His side with a spear,

and immediately blood and water came out.

And he who has seen

has testified,

and his testimony is true;

and he knows that

he is telling the truth,

so that you may believe."

John 19:34-35


Good day! Let's begin with prayer..

"Our God in heaven, thank You holy Lord for Your truth. Today, Lord, as we study more about who You are, I cannot help but be thankful for all that You have done for me. I thank You that Your word is truth. That You suffered for me and shed Your blood for me is all that I will ever need to know.

I seek forgiveness of my sins that put you up on that cross. I pray that You will wash me clean from the bondage of sin and release me. I pray that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit this day. Guard my tongue, guard my speech and keep me from causing harm.

I lift up each lady reading this study today. I pray that she will be encouraged by what she reads. I pray that she will have a desire and passion to study Your word. I pray that You will speak to her through Your word and lift her spirits.

In Jesus' name...amen."


The Certainty of God's Witness

In our opening verse, John tells us that he is a viable witness to Christ's death as he was to his life. Being a true witness is important to John because the peole in his day were relying on false teachings by people who had not witnessed Jesus' life nor death.

As we read this portion of John's letter, we will see how God, in Spirit, is the one who bears witness because His Spirit is truth.

We learned last lesson about Overcomers. Overcoming the world involves several things:

  • Rising above the world's thinking and habits- Having a Christian worldview can be difficult in this day and age.

  • Persevering in freedom in Christ, separate from the world- Staying God's word will assist us in staying strong when tempted by the world.

  • Rising above circumstances of this world- Paul learned to be content in whatever state he was in. Following Christ means we abide with Him no matter what is happening to us in present times.

By remembering that we are Overcomers will help us to be Overcomers then when the things of this world turn against us and it gets ugly toward us in this country.


1 John 5:6-

"This is He who came by water and blood- Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth."

We looked at our faith and how it has overcome the world. We looked at who overcomes the world: he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Now John wants us to know who this Jesus is; He who came not only by water, but by water and blood.

Many believe this verses speaks of how Jesus was born of a woman (from water) and died in His blood (John 19) at the crucifixion. and many commentators believe this verse is speaking to John 19:34 when Jesus was pierced and blood and water flowed from His side.

Remember to whom John is writing: New believers among false teachers.

The Gnostics and Docetists were misleading new Christians into thinking Jesus was only a Spirit. He was not a man who "died" physically, so He did not die for our sins.

But John, a viable witness, saw Jesus live and breath and eat like a man. He also saw Jesus bleed and die as a man he can write that Jesus came by both water and blood.

Please read:

Col 1:15-17

Col 2:9

John 1:14


So, in learning last time that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are overcomers, we read here that we must truly believe that Jesus came as a man and was also God:

It is by faith that we believe this about Christ.

Heb 12:2

Gen 3:15

John 19:30

Jesus came in flesh and died a horrible death of blood on the cross for us. Now we are reconciled. John urgently wants us to remember that our Savior was both man and God and the Spirit bears witness.

The Greek word for witness is martureo meaning: one who remembers or who has knowledge of something by personal experience. It is used nine times in 1 John 5. This word is used in legal matters.

You can see how urgent John is when using this word. He calls himself a witness. Now he says it is the Spirit that bears witness to God.

Deut 6:4

In the New Testament, we read about God, Son, and Spirit:

Matt 28:19

2 Cor 13:14

Eph 1:1-14

God bore witness to His Son-

Matt 3:17

John 11:41

Rom 1:4

We will learn more about "witness" in the next lesson. But here we must remember that John bore witness to Christ here on earth, and he points out how God bore witness, as well as the Spirit, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

To believe this means we will overcome the world.

(The Epistles of John, 2006, pp.184-1992)


Life Application

Memorials are very important to people of all religions and races. It is obvious that we were created in God's image since He Himself commanded His people to create memorials. All the books of the Bible were written as memorials, not as dictation while events were happening.

If memorials are important to God, it is because He wants us to remember things: things that He did for His people, His works, His wonders.

Ex 3:14-15

Ex 12:14

Ex 13:9

Ex 17:14

Ex 28:9-14

Josh 4:7

Matt 26:10-13

And that's just some of the verses regarding memorials! There are many more....

My family is getting ready to head to Washington DC where our country's memorials and monuments stand. I can hardly wait for our son to see these memorials and monuments because it is good for him to learn to remember.

John wrote his epistles so that Christians would remember and memorialize all the works of the Lord.

1 John 1:1-4

Why? So that our lives would be full. Nothing is better for the Christian than to know our Lord God, the Creator of the Universe. Not food, water, clothing...nothing is better for us than to know our Creator. That is why He instructed His people to build they would remember. When times got hard, they could look at those memorials and remember how it was God who got them through the hard times. It was God who set them free. It was God who crushed their "enemies.

It is our doom when we forget all that God has done for us. That's when we replace His memorials with our own.

Remember not to forget.


Until next time....

"This is the blessed promise to the saints, that they shall see God (Matthew 5:8). They who see God cannot but praise Him. He is a Being of such glory and excellence that the sight of this excellence of His will necessarily influence those who behold it to praise Him. Such a glorious sight will awaken and rouse all the powers of the soul, and will irresistably impel and draw them into acts of praise. Such a sight enlarges their souls and fills them with admiration, and with an unspeakable exultation of spirit."

-Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758 (Altogether Lovely, 1997, p. 222)



Running the Good Race


Ran up North Mountain Monday evening. It was a good run. It was 110 but because the mountain is mostly in the shade, it wasn't that hot.

Tuesday night ran 3 miles at 7pm. Again, it wasn't that bad out even though it was about 110.

Rested today but will run tomorrow morning.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Sixty

"These things I have spoken

to you, that in Me you

may have peace. In the world

you will have tribulation; but

be of good cheer,

I have overcome the world."

John 16:33


Let's begin our time with prayer...

"Heavenly Father, today as we read Your word we will look at what it means to be an overcomer. We will look at what You did for us in overcoming death and this world. Thank You, Lord, for overcoming the world for us. Thank You for the gift that is Your word so that we can have our faith strengthened when the things of this world get us down.

I seek forgiveness of my sins this day. I pray that You will search me and cleanse me of my transgressions against You. I pray that You will wash me clean and fill me this day so that I may serve You.

I lift up each lady reading this study. I pray for her needs. I pray that when she reads this study, she will eb encouraged that she can overcome this world through Christ. I pray that she will earnestly seek You today and that You will come along side her and give her peace.

In Jesus' name...amen."



In today's verses, we will look at how Christ overcame the world: death. We will read more about how we can be overcomers as well because we are born of God and have Christ within us.

It is important for Christians today to remember that we have our Savior within us and that He has already conquered this world for us. Sometimes it seems as though it is us against the world...but only when we forget what Jesus did for us. When we remember Him and how He conquered death once and for all...for us....then we become empowered to do His good works.

1 John 5:4-5

"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

In this book, John took tells us that we are of God and that Jesus, who is in us, has overcome the world because He is greater than the one who is in the world.

Please read:

1 John 4:4

John 16:33

It is hard to find peace in these hectic times. The world's view of peace is far different than the Lord's view of peace. The world tells us to meditate, go to a spa, or go on vacation in order to find peace. But God tells us that true peace is in Christ.

Rom 5:1

Is 9:6

Eph 2:14-15

Jesus reminds us that in this world we will have tribulation. If He suffered, then we will suffer. Imagine a world where being a Christian is against the law. A world where you can have your citizenship revoked just by proclaiming faith in Christ. Don't think it can happen? Ask a survivor of the Holocaust if it can happen.

See, the Jewish and Muslim people will be safe because they can claim their religion is also their race. But we Christians cannot claim that. So, one day we will be persecuted for our faith just like Christians in other countries are being persecuted, tortured, and killed for their faith in Christ.

Jesus tells us that these times are coming. They must happen before He comes again just like the birth pains come before the baby.

"but be of good cheer..."

When these times happen, it can cause doubt to the believer. Nothing causes doubt more than being in a prison cell for no reason other than your love of Jesus. But Jesus knows this and tells us that our peace is in Him. Therefore, we can have good cheer when persecuted...when facing death....because He already conquered death for us.

"I have overcome the world."


"And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith."

John reminds us that we have victory already because of our faith in Christ Jesus, who already overcame the world.

It will get ugly in this country. The people will turn away from God and He will reveal more of His wrath on this country a little at a time: floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, then the lawlessness will abound more and more, especially if America abandons Israel. Then, God will turn His back on America for the first time in its history....and we Christians will begin to suffer for our faith.

Will these hard times cause us to doubt? Will seeing our families suffer for our faith cause us to doubt Christ? We have to prepare ourselves now.


"Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

Jesus promised that if we endure to the end, we will be saved. He has kept all of His promises...and He will not forsake us now.

1 Cor 15:56-57

Our victory is through Christ Jesus. Our faith in Him is what will make us overcomers. John suffered for his faith in Christ. Now he is telling his fellow believers that soon they will too. But he encourages us to remain in that faith. To remain strong even when all things around us are crumbling. That is our calling.

For without Jesus we are nothing. We can do nothing without Him. He has given us no reason to doubt Him.

Rom 7:24-25


Life Application

A part of me wants Barak Obama to win the presidency of this country because he is what we deserve: an irresponsible inexperienced non-believing politician with extremely Liberal views. I firmly believe that the Iranian president is hoping Obama is elected as our president simply because then he will attack Israel knowing Obama will not retaliate, but stand back and abandon Israel.

In a way, I am happy that will happen because then it means Christ is coming soon. But then again, I am saddened to think what this man and his administration will do to our country and Israel.

But it only reminds me that our time here is short. Therefore, we must be preparing ourselves daily to face that persecution for our faith. Memorize scripture, teach it to your children, pray hard and without ceasing, love the brethren, obey God....but most importantly: have faith.

Yes, it may seem scary at times, but not when we remember that Christ is victorious. And we are victorious in Christ Jesus.

Rev 22:12-13

Oh, come quickly Lord!


Until next time....

"Let it be considered that we all hope to spend an eternity with the saints in heaven, and in the same work of praising God. There is, it may be, not one of us but who hopes to be a saint in heaven, and there continually to sing praises to God and the Lamb. But how disagreeable will it be with such a hope to live in the neglect of praising God now! We ought now to begin that work which we intend shall be the work of another world; for this life is given us on purpose that therein we might prepare for a future life."

-Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758 (Altogether Lovely, 1997, p.232)



Friday, June 20, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Fifty-nine

"Cast your burden on the LORD,

And He shall sustain you;

He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."

Psalm 55:22


Good day, ladies! Let's seek the Lord....

"Holy Father, as we break open Your word this day and study about Your commandments, I pray that You will speak to our hearts and convict us of any sin in our lives that we may confess it before You, repent, and be cleansed. We praise Your Holy name this day, Lord, for giving us a way to ease the burden of this world. Thank You for allowing us to cast all our cares upon You. Thank You for sustaining us when we no longer can stand.

I seek forgiveness of my sins this day, Lord, as I think about Your commands. I know there are many I have forsaken. I pray that You will wash me clean, renew me, and be the joy of my salvation once again, Lord.

I lift up each lady reading this study today. I know her cares are real and they burden her. I pray that she will cast her cares upon you and take up Your easy yoke. I pray that You will set her high upon Your Rock, lift her up and sustain her, and bless her with every spiritual blessing as she reads through Your word today.

In Jesus' name....amen."


Obedience by Faith

As we dive deeper into chapter 5 of 1 John, we will look at the Lord's commandments and how they are not burdensome compared to the world's commands upon us.

In today's world, we are commanded to be and live a certain way. We can see the pressures of this world on our teenagers across America. They have so many pressures on them that we did not have. I saw a father of 2 boys at the library yesterday. He had taken them there, along with a friend, to pick up some books.

He looked tired from the heat and they looked bored, but they did get their books and as they walked out to the truck, I was behind them. One boy was a teenager and the other boys were in elementary school. The father's truck was a small pick-up and I wondered how they all were going to fit in it! But they did.

Unfortunately, the father was very displeased with one of the boys and he yelled at him in the parking lot. I automatically cringe when I hear parents yelling at their kids, especially in public, because it reminds me of all the yelling I experienced when I was growing up. I felt bad for all the boys who looked very uncomfortable. The father continued to belittle his son in front of his older brother and friend. I felt for the kid.

It is easy to forget that some kids out there are being raised in unloving homes without Christ, hurt by divorce, and yet we still expect these kids to be A students in school and become upstanding citizens when they are adults. What pressure!

We forget the burden we place on our children because we get so tangled up in our own burdens.


1 John 5:2-3

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."

Today I would like to concentrate on the last part of verse 3. I feel that the Lord is laying on my heart to write about how His commands differ from the worlds.

In Jesus' time on earth, He spent alot of time admonishing the Jewish leaders around Him for the burden they had placed on the people. He called them hypocrites.

Before Christ came, remember that the people had not heard a word from God for 400 years. Many generations came and went without counsel from God. They relied upon the Jewish leaders to read the Torah and teach them about what God had done for them. Instead, the leaders wrote up new laws that they used to hold the people down.

They placed new burdens upon the Jewish people in addition to the 600 laws of God! As a result, the people either tried to keep all the laws including the new ones, or they gave up and went about their own business trying to stay out of Rome's way and the Jewish leaders' way.

When Christ began His ministry, this was the state of His people: they were wearing a very heavy yoke upon their shoulders. The Law of God became a huge and heavy burden to them instead of the source of peace and love that it was.

Please read:

Luke 11:37-54

Here we have Jesus admonishing the community leaders for all the burdens they place on the people. The Jewish leaders were more concerned for themselves than for the people.

In 1 John, he writes to fellow believers a reminder that the commandments of the Lord are not burdensome like the commands of this world.

John 15:10

John 14:15

They are the source of real Love.

Matt 11:28-30

The people placed yokes on the shoulders of animals to use them to plow fields or pull carts and wagons. The yokes kept the animals from going off the path. The yokes were made from large pieces of wood.

Here is a picture of a more modern yoke:

It doesn't look too comfortable, does it? You can see why Jesus would use this as a way to illustrate His point.

"I am gentle and lowly in heart, you will find rest for your souls..."

Imagine the people's faces when they heard that from the Lord! Rest, gentleness, lowliness...compared to the harshness of the Jewish leaders and the Romans.

Rom 2:17-19

Obey God and live. His commands give us life and peace. Works do not lead to salvation, they are the result of salvation.

John 2:23-25- the world relies on signs and wonders. We live by faith.

We know we can never earn our way into heaven, but through Jesus we can have that rest and peace even when we do the work of the Lord.


By teaching our children that obeying the Lord's commands is not burdensome, we can take off some of those pressures the world puts on them because the world's commands are burdensome.

Ps 37:3-8

Teaching our children to trust and do good, dwell and feed on His faithfulness, delight in the Lord, commit, and rest in the Lord is the best thing we can do for them.

This world teaches our children to work, strive, compete, be the BEST they can be at all times. Always pushing forward, onward, etc. Earn more money, buy more things, strive, strive, strive!!

But what does the Lord say?

Ps 37:11

Ps 37:16-17

Ps 37:18

Though there will be tough times as a Christian, we will never be utterly cast down.

Ps 37:23-24

Earthly sorrow leads to death. We have seen that among the young in Hollywood lately. We watch them become famous, enjoy the money and fame, then become depressed and despondent, only to turn to drugs.....leading to their untimely death. The pressures of the world can be too much to handle for some.

2 Cor 7:10

The sorrow of the Lord will lead us to repent of our sins which leads to salvation. But the sorrow of the world produces death.

Paul praises the Christians in Corinth for observing their sorrow in a godly manner and it produced in them purity.

This is what John wants us to remember. We serve the Lord God of Israel. He is faithful and true. His yoke is placed upon us, but His burden is light. He is gentle and lowly. He gives us rest.

If we say we love Jesus, then we must obey His commands by faith knowing that He will remain with us through the trials of life.


Life Application

I have a friend whose son just turned 16 and he was hired this week for his first job ever: a bag clerk at Fry's.

I was so excited for him, but at the same time a little saddened too because his childhood is officially over. He will work now for the rest of his life.

Work, like most things, is exciting at first. Earning money, saving it, using to purchase things, is a fun part of work. But we all know work can be burdensome as well.

I thank the Lord that He has blessed my family with jobs all through our marriage. We haven't always enjoyed those jobs, but the Lord always provided. I am blessed now to be able to stay home during the summer months with my son. The Lord knows a mother's heart, and so He provides for us a way for me to stay home and enjoy my time.

"Cast your burden on the LORD,

And He shall sustain you;

He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." Ps 55:22

To know that our Lord sustains us is a wonderful thing. That fact alone should give us rest and peace. To know we are not alone in this world. We were given the mighty Right Arm of the Lord to hold us up.

Rest on the Lord. Take time today to just rest on Him. Cast all your burdens upon Him then wait for that rest and peace. Make time to cease from work so you can just be with the Lord who is gently and lowly.


Until next time....

"Jesus says that whoever loves God keeps his commandments. If we love God, we want to do as he says; we want to please him with heart, mind, and strength. We do not find his commands grievous because our soul is in the service of God. The Holy Spirit within us is our guide and David said, 'I will run in the way of thy commandments, when thouh shalt enlarge my heart' (Ps 119:32).

-Dr. Joel Beeke (The Epistles of John, 2006, p. 178)



Running the Good Race


Decided to do pilates on Tuesday. Ran 3.5 miles Wednesday morning at 5:30am. It was so nice and cool out at that hour. I will have to continue to run that early to beat the heat.

Rested on Thurs.

Ran 3.25 miles this morning again at 5:30. It was so nice out, but got bit by mosquitoes. Will have to buy some repellant!

Will either run up North Mountain or ride bike tomorrow....not sure.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Running the Good Race


What a busy weekend! I was able to ride my bike on Thurs. for 45 min. Friday I did pilates only for stretching.

Saturday morning I ran 3.25 miles again. It was hotter than I expected, but it was nice. Sunday I rested and then this morning I ran up Shaw Butte. It was already very warm at 6:30 this morning, but the run was nice.

Will run 3.5 miles tomorrow morning.

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Fifty-Eight

"Seek the LORD while

He may be found,

Call upon Him while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way,

And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

Let him return to the LORD,

And He will have mercy on him;

And to our God,

for He will abundantly pardon."

Isaish 55:6-7


Hello again, friends. Let's pray together...

"Holy Father God, as we study Your word again today, Lord, I pray that You will be glorified and praised. I pray and thank You for all You have given to us. I thank You for Your abundant pardon to those of us who have returned to You. I thank You for Your mercy You show to us day after day because You are faithful even when we are faithless.

I seek the pardon of my sins this day, Lord. I know that You are a holy God and my sins separate me from You. I pray that You will cleanse me, purify me, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. I pray that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit this day.

I lift up to You each lady reading this study with her individual needs. I pray that You will walk with her and she will earnestly seek You each morning. I pray that as she reads Your word, You will speak to her heart, convict her of sin, and renew her.

In Jesus' name....amen."


Obedience by Faith

We have looked at chapter 5 of 1 John in the last 2 lessons in preparation for our expository study verse by verse. Now that you know a little more about this chapter, you can begin to look at the first verses.

Our author, John, is writing this letter to make sure his fellow believers know whom they believe and what it means to be a Christian. Of course, the world has its own definition of what it means to be a Christian....but most importantly we should know what Scripture says a follower of Christ is and is not.

In these last days, we have to understand that our faith will be tested in ways not seen since Christ walked the earth and since Noah built the ark. When Jesus tells us that the last days will be like Noah's time....we have to take that seriously. Man sinned continuously. All his thoughts were wicked continuously. And only Noah and his family were spared.

So, reading this book is most important to Christians. It will leave you with the utmost assurance of your salvation. And it will leave you with the utmost assurance of who is not a Christian.


1 John 5:1-

"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him."

The Christ

In the study of the Samaritan Woman I did here at this blog, we read how Jesus revealed Himself as The Christ to this Gentile woman for the first time in His ministry.

Please read:

John 4:21-26

John desires that his readers understand that they must believe that Jesus is The Christ whom he walked with and whom the Scriptures fortell.

Dan 9:25-27

So for a person to be a believer, they must confess (agree) that Jesus is the one and only Christ, or Messiah, mentioned in Scriptures.

Born of God

John 1:13

Then John reminds us that once we agree that Jesus is the Christ foretold in Scriptures, we are then born of God.

Those born of God will love God. Loving God requires obedience to His laws and commands. In this chapter, we will look further into this concept later on, but for now we must remember that there is an inner attribute to those who are Christians: love of God. And there is an outer attribute of Christians: obedience to God.

Without obedience to God's commands, how can we say that we truly belong to Him and love Him?

Love Him who begot

Deut 6:5

In this part of the verse it is as if John is trying to remind us that we love our parents who begot us, but is that enough? Is it enough to merely claim to love God? No, because then John reminds us what the main commandment of God is:

Love Fellow Christians

We learned about love in chapter four, so here is John reminding us once again that we are commanded to love one another as Christ loved: sacrifically.

Gal 1:3-4

Eph 5:1-2

Eph 5:25

Acts 20:28

1 Thess 4:9


It is not enough for a person to claim to be a Christian simply because they raised their hand in church or signed a card after service and put it in the offering plate.

Just as there are outward symbols and inward symbols of change in all people, it us true of the believer as well. We, as Christians, are not left wondering whether someone we know is a believer or not. There are ways that God Himself provided for us to know for certain if someone truly is born of God or not.

Because He loves us, He gave us this truth in His word. It is this word that separates us from all other religions of the world. Think about it....of the millions of religions out there, only we have the Word of God.

It is that Word of God that guides us, convicts us, and protects us from the false teachings out there. And we know there are so many.

Deut 8:3


Ps 119:105

Prov 30:5

Is 40:8

Luke 8:11

John 1:14

Phil 2:16

Col 3:16

Heb 4:12

Rev 19:13

For God is His there can be no other.


Life Application

My prayer for you is that as we complete this book you are seeing a pattern to what John has written. He repeats over and over again the mantra of the Christian:

Love God

Love His word

Love other believers

Obey His commands

This week it was announced that Pres. Bush will give the Medal of Freedom to Donna Shalala, a former member of Pres. Clinton's cabinet. She is hated by many in America for her attempts at destroying Freedom of Speech guaranteed in the Constitution. So, as you can believe, many people are angry at the Pres. for bestowing this honor to this woman.

But I see it as a way for Pres. Bush to heap burning coals onto the heads of his enemies: by being kind to those who hate him.

Luke 6:27

Rom 12:17-21

I firmly believe that this is what Pres. Bush is doing....and in so doing, he is telling other believers that he believes God's Word as truth. He is seeking to do God's will. And he is giving us an example of what to do...obey God.

In the opening verse of today's lesson, it loudly exclaims for believers...or all seek the LORD while He may be found.

As I have often said here on this blog, knowing God is the greatest thing for any living creature. To know and love The One who begot us is paramount to our happiness and survival. And we should be thankful everyday that He provided The Way for us to know Him intimately: through stories, history, poetry, letters, and hymns.

I am amazed at the depth to our God's love for His people. In the midst of this crooked and perverse generation that continually belittles Him and precludes His word from going forth, God still is kind to the wicked and evil.

Luke 6:35-36

We are to obey God, seek Him while He may be found, truly live out His word and commandments for all to see.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.


Until next time....

"Do you love God? Do you love his word, his ordinances, his church, his salvation? We who are born of God, forgiven by God, adopted by God into the divine family, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, cannot help but love God. Love for God is the first fruit of saving faith."

-Dr. Joel Beeke (The Epistles of John, 2006, p. 176)



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Running the Good Race


Started my training this week for the 1/2 marathon in January. I ran on Monday in the evening, but it was way too hot: 108 degrees at 6pm. You'd think I learned from last summer about running in the evenings! But I had to learn it again...

So today I ran in the early morning and it was much cooler: 82 degrees at 6am.

What a difference! Ran 3.25 miles in 30 minutes. Back to my old pace of 6 miles an hour. Will run on Friday morning...hopefully 3.5 miles.

Then it will be 4-6 miles 4 times a week all summer.

Wish me luck!

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Fifty-Seven

"To him who overcomes

I will grant to sit with Me on My throne,

as I also overcame and sat down

with My Father on His throne."

Revelation 3:21


Hello again! Let's pray.....

"Holy Father God, as we look today at what it means to overcome the world, let us be eternally thankful to You because You have overcome the world and its ruler so that we can have true liberty from the bondage of sin. Thank You, Father, that because of Your sacrifice we now have freedom.

I ask the forgiveness of my sins today, Lord, because I know my sins keep me from having communion with You. I pray that You will wash me clean this day and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

I pray for each lady reading this study today that she will learn that she is an overcomer. That she will be encouraged by reading what it means to overcome. I pray that You will bless her with every spiritual blessing and giver her peace.

In Jesus' name....amen."


Obedience by Faith

Overcomers are the topic in this lesson today. It is obvious that John wants his readers to remember what Jesus said:

"And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." Matt 10:22

Enduring to the end....sounds easy now because we are not suffering for our faith. But what happens when we will be "hated by all" ? John gives us encouragement to be overcomers as Jesus was.

Please read:

Rev 2:7

Rev 2:11

Rev 2:17

Rev 2:26-28

Rev 3:5

Rev 3:12

Rev 21:6-8

What does Jesus say about those who will overcome?


It is most important for the Christian to be obedient even to the point of death for Jesus.

John 16:33

Rom 8:37

As a result of Jesus overcoming the world, we are now conquerors too. When it comes time for us to suffer for our faith, the Lord has promised that if we endure.....He will save us.

Rev 17:14

Jesus wants us to remember that we are conquerors now with Him:

Rom 12:21

After reading these verses, what conclusions can you draw about overcomers and overcoming?

I know that I have learned that we cannot overcome anything on our own, but that through Christ we will overcome.

Phil 4:13


Now that we have gone over some key words in this final chapter of 1 John, in our next lesson we will begin a verse by verse study of what John is saying to us.

So, by next time, please read through chapter 5 one more time in preparation.


Life Application

No one likes to lose. No one likes to be on the losing team. Heck, even Satan knows he loses in the end so he is trying to take as many of us with him as he can. His main goal is to destroy God's creation as much as he can because he knows he is a loser in the end.

But Jesus calls us Overcomers. He tells us that if we obey His word and do His works....we will overcome. And look at all the rewards that await us!


A New Name

Life in Paradise

Sitting on His throne with Him

Power over the nations

White garments

Praise God indeed!

Hard times are definitely coming for Christians in this country. We have been blessedly spared persecution in our generation. Many Christians are suffering now for their faith in many other countries....but soon it will be our turn.

Stay in God's word daily. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Stay in fellowship with other believers. Do the works of the Lord. Obey the commandments.....

So that way you will endure until the end....and the good news is, we win!

"And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."


Until next time....

"So the reason we get anxious about food and clothing is because we don't want to lose physical pleasures or human praise or life. To this fear Jesus responds: if you are gripped by anxiety over these things, you have lost sight of the greatness of life. Life was not given primarily for physical pleasures, but for something greater -the enjoyment of God (Luke 12:21)."

- John Piper (What Jesus Demands from the World, 2006, p. 115)



Monday, June 9, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Fifty-Six

"For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because

when you received the

word of God which you

heard from us, you welcomed

it not as the word of men,

but as it is in truth,

the word of God, which also effectively

works in you who believe."

1 Thess 2:13


Good day! Let's seek the Lord in prayer....

"Holy Father, there is so much to be thankful for this day. I come to You today to thank You for Your word. Thank You for not leaving us here without any guidance or way to come to You. Without Your truth, we are nothing. Thank You and bless You for being merciful to Your creation.

Father, please forgive me for my sins. I know that my sins keep me from having fellowship and communion with You. I pray that You will wash me clean from all my sins and make me whole again that I may serve You. Guard my tongue and keep me from causing harm with words.

I lift up each lady reading this study today. I know each one had her own needs and so I ask that You speak to her and encourage her throughout her day. Walk with her, comfort her, and keep her today, Lord. I pray that she will seek You and Your truths in Your word today.

In Jesus' name...amen."


Chapter Five

Today we begin to study the last chapter in the book of 1 John. Amazing, isn't it? we began back in December, I believe, and here we are in the final chapter of this wonderful letter of John.

First, read through the entire chapter.

Then, read it again looking for key words such as: know, sin, love, and born of God.

Finally, read through it again looking for the main theme.

How does chapter 5 relate to chapter 4?

What do you learn from this chapter about one who is "born of God"?

What does this chapter have to say about love?

If you have no problem marking in your Bible, take a yellow highlighter and highlight the word "know" as you find it throughout the chapter.

What is it that John claims you and I can know in these verses?

-know that we love the children of God

-know that we have eternal life

-know that He hears us

-know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him

-know that whoever is born of God does not sin

-know that we are of God

-know that the Son of God has come

-know Him who is true and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ

The word, "overcome" is repeated in this chapter as well. Find it in the chapter and underline it.

How is it used?

The word, "overcome" in the Greek is translated as: nike and it means to subdue; victorious, conquer.

Now that you know the meaning of this word, re-read the verses where it is found. Did those verses change in meaning for you? Did you find encouragement in those verses?

Please read:

1 John 2:13-14

1 John 4:4

How is "overcome" used in these verses?

What is John trying to teach us in these verses?

("First John" 2001 used by permission from Precept Ministries)


John is writing to believers who are beginning to doubt their beliefs in Christ or who are being led astray by false teachers.

We have seen in this book that he is trying to encourage them to stay, remain, abide in Christ until that Day of the Lord.

He writes that those who are born of God:

-believe in Jesus as Christ- 5:1

-loves the child of God- 5:1

-love God- 5:2-3

-keep the commandments- 5:3

-overcomes the world- 5:4

-has faith- 5:4

As we dive deeper into chapter 5 in our next lesson, we will see more of John's purpose in writing this letter. You and I will learn more about who God is and what it means to be a Christian.

In the meantime, read this chapter one more time now that you have learned a little more about it. Meditate on this chapter and take it with you in your day. You will recognize some very familiar and famous verses in this chapter. Memorize them. Treasure them in your heart.

May God give you peace.


Life Application

As I wrote in my opening prayer today, I thank the Lord for giving us His word that we can study it and become discerning students of the truth.

1 John 5:11

"And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."

What would we be without the truth or knowledge of God?

Imagine the Jews who lived at the time of Christ. There had not been a prophet of the Lord nor any word from God for 4oo years. Silence.

These poor people wandered in a land that was ruled by the pagans and a temple that was built by a fake king. How sad it must have been for them to see Jerusalem in the hands of the Romans. But God was merciful in that He did not forsake them.

We, in America, are so blessed in that we can worship freely in this country without the fear of persecution.....yet, the time is coming when that freedom will end. Then we will see how this country will be taken over by the pagans....and God will turn away from us into silence.

But God will not forsake us. He has given us His word and His word is truth. Those who stand fast, who overcome in the end shall be saved. His silence ended when He came to the earth and walked among His own.....and His own received Him not.

Blessed be the Lord who did not leave us here alone without a word from Him. He gave us the written word that we can know all His attributes. And one day He will return again to claim His own. And there will be no more silence from Him.

Rev 2:25-26

"But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations..."

Praise God indeed!


Until next time-

"To be born of God is to be regenerated. Regeneration is that secret act of God by which he gives new life to a sinner and makes the governing disposition of his soul to be holy. Regeneration is not merely reformation, religion, or education, as Nicodemus discovered in his talk with Jesus. Rather it is resurrection from the dead and recreation that God miraculously works with us."

-Dr. Joel Beeke (The Epistles of John, 2006, p. 183)



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Fifty-Five

"If I have told you

earthly things

and you do not believe, how will

you believe if I tell you

heavenly things?"
John 3:12

Good day, let's seek the Lord........

"Holy Father God above, today we will look further into Your love and what Christian love truly is, and as we do, Lord, I pray that You will speak to us through Your word. Thank You, Father, for this special revelation that is Your word. Thank You for giving it to us that we may learn more about who You are and what You mean to our lives. Without You we can do nothing.

I pray and ask forgiveness of my sins this day, Lord, because I know my sins separate me from You. I want to have fellowship with You and I know that my sins keep me from having that deep communion with You. I pray that You will wash me clean from my sins and release me from the bondage of sin.

I pray for each lady reading today's study, Lord, that she will yearn to be with You this week and every week. I pray that You will fill her with Your Holy Spirit and encourage her as she goes through her day. Speak to her, lift her up, and walk with her this day as she encounters the many challenges that each new day brings.

In Jesus' name...amen."


Obedience by Faith

As we conclude chapter four of 1 John, we will look at the final 2 verses that speak of loving one another.

This chapter, the Love Chapter, has taken us through the many kinds of love that come to us by God Himself:

Knowing God Through Love

Seeing God Through Love

The Consummation of Love

John has taken his readers on a journey of true love known only to those who know the Living God through Jesus Christ the Son.

He reminds his readers that if we know God, then we must love one another. To love God is to do His works so that others may know God, see God, and we can be consumed by God until perfection.

All these things John, himself, did and witnessed in his life as he walked with Jesus and was an apostle after Christ's resurrection.

From a young fisherman to an Apostle of God, this author desperately wants us to know that perfect love of God as he learned it by Christ's example.

1 John 4: 20-21-

"If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him; that he who loves God must love his brother also."

After defining what Christian love is to his readers, John now concludes this chapter by reminding us of the commandment given to us by Jesus: love one another. Jesus not only gave this commandment, but demonstrated it to us thereby leaving us with that perfect example of how to love.

Please read:

Rom 5:8

Paul writes that God Himself demonstrated this love unto us not when we were perfect....but while we were still sinners....still His enemies...still in debt to Him.

Now John wants us to remember this fact before we begin to judge one another: we were sinners when the Holy God of Israel looked upon us! Who are we to judge?

Instead, he instructs us to love as Christ loved.


"..for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen...."

John reminds us that the people of God are clearly seen all around us. As Christians, we are not to ignore the needs of fellow believers, but instead to see them and love them.

Phil 2:2-4

Paul tells us to be like-minded...of one accord; to consider the needs of other believers ahead of our own. What is the most important need of a believer? To be clean before God.

Gal 5:1-10

Paul often wrote to other believers convicted them of their sins and urging them to return to the works of the Lord. As a result, he was often enstranged from them for a time, but he knew the greatest thing for the believer is to be in obedience.

Gal 5:13-15

He reminds his readers that they are free in Christ, but that does not mean they can do whatever they want. They are commanded to love one another

Lev 19:18

Then he leads his readers to the commandments that they are not to walk in the flesh, but in the Spirit.

Gal 5:16-18 & 25-26

Paul and John both understand that if we truly love fellow believers, we will confront their sin.

Gal 6:1

We are to confront that sin in a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves lest we be tempted by that sin as well.

Gal 6:2-5

How can we say we love someone and then watch them be held bondage to sin?

Gal 6:6-7

If we learn something wonderful through God's word, like redemption and freedom from sin, then we are to share it with one another. That is what it means to love those whom we have seen.


" can he love God whom he has not seen?"

John questions those believers who do not love those before them yet claim to love a God they have never seen. How can this be?

Basically, what he is saying is you may claim to believe in God.....but do you truly believe God?

That is what it comes down to, isn't it? We can say we love God and read His word, but do we honestly believe what it is God says in His word? Because if we truly believe in the God of the Bible, we will fear Him.

Fearing Him is what makes us surrender to His commands. And His commands are perfect:

Ps 119:25-27

Ps 119:35-40

Ps 119:47-48

Ps 119:97-104

How beautiful the words of the Psalmist! Pray today that the Lord will make you love His commandments...His precepts....His law. Pray that they will be sweeter than honey to your taste!

If we claim to be Christians and love Jesus, then we have been enlightened to who God is.

John 14:9-11

If you claim to know Christ, then you must believe what God says. And if He commands us to love one another...then that is what we must do.

"And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."

It really is that simple, isn't it? If we love God and obey His commandments and truly believe what He says in His word...then we must love one another.

To be is to do.

To be a Christian is to love God, obey God, and show that love to others. We were created in the image of God. Therefore, we have the attirbutes of God in finite form. He expresses love perfectly, we do it imperfectly. So He gave us Christ as an example, as a way to make us perfect.

Now we can truly love one another because of Jesus.

In our next lesson we will begin chapter five of 1 John. In this chapter we will see how John reiterates what obedience by faith truly is. We will look further into what it means to believe what God says about Himself in His word.

I hope that you learned alot about love from chapter four. My prayer is that you came away with a better and deeper understanding of what it means to show God's love to those around us and how it pleases God.


Life Application

"I have been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me, Phillip?"- John 14:9

Everytime I read this verse I am convicted because I know how Phillip felt when Jesus asked him this question.

I walked with Jesus for many years, but when it came down to it...I really did not know who Jesus was or is at all.

How humiliating.

John wants us to remember whom we serve. It isn't enough to merely say we are Christians...but to demonstrate it daily.

I thought I knew who Jesus was. I thought He was about love and compassion and forgiveness. But I had no idea that He was God incarnate...the express image of the Holy Living God.

It wasn't until 2000 that God opened my eyes to what it says in His word about Jesus...and I had been saved since 1974! All those years, He allowed me to only know so much about Himself.

And then one day He opened my eyes to His precepts. And my life changed.

My prayer for you is that through this book, 1 John, you will begin to see further into who God truly is and what it means to be a Christian. I pray that He will open your eyes to new and wonderful things in His word so that you will begin to see more of Him.

Then, and only then, can you know Him more.

And that is the greatest good.


Until next time.........

"If Christ accepts you, you need not fear but that you will be safe; for He is a strong Lion for your defense. And if you come, you need not fear but that you shall be accepted; for He is like a Lamb to all who come to Him, and receives them with infinite grace and tenderness. It is true that He has awful majesty. He is the great God, and infinitely high above you. But there is this to encourage you and embolden the poor sinner: that Christ is man we well as God. He is a creature as well as the Creator; and He is the most humble and lowly in heart of any creature in heaven or earth."

-Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758 (Altogether Lovely, 1997, p. 46)



Monday, June 2, 2008

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Fifty-Four

"But from there

you will seek the LORD

your God. When

you are in distress,

and all these things come upon you in

the latter days, when you turn

to the LORD your God and obey His voice

(For the LORD your God is a merciful God),

He will not forsake you

nor destroy you, nor forget the

covenant of your fathers which

He swore to them."

Deut 4:29-30


Hello ladies! The love of a merciful God....let's seek Him together:

"Holy Father God, thank You Lord for indeed being that merciful God of all creation. Thank You , blessed father, for remembering us when times are hard. please remember us in the end times when we suffer persecution. Thank You for being faithful even when we are not faithful.

I seek the forgiveness of my sins. I pray that You will wash me clean of my sins and make me whole again in Your presence. I pray that You will purge me with Your hyssop and cleanse me. I pray that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit to overflowing.

I lift up each lady reading this study today and ask that You walk with her this day. I pray that when times are distressing for her that You will reveal Your love to her and Your faithfulness to her. I pray that she will seek You this day and read Your word. I pray that she will yearn to have fellowship with you each day.

In Jesus' name...amen."


The Consummation of Love

As we complete this section of 1 John, we will continue to look at the love of God and how it consumes the Christian.

We have learned that perfect love casts out all we Christians should have no fear of the world, but we should fear God.

We learned that perfect love is in us because of what Jesus did for us: He died for us. Now that love has been perfected among us, we can boldly stand before Jesus at His coming. Amen.

Now we will look at that perfect love even closer....

1 John 4: 19-

"We love Him because He first loved us."

Because John had witnessed the life and death of Jesus, we can read the impact of this fact in this letter to believers. He desperately wants his readers to know and remember just what it was that Christ did by coming to this earth and dying for us: He revealed the Love of God toward us.

Please read:

Titus 3:4-7

Paul writes that salvation is not perfected by works of is complete in the work of Christ Jesus who was both God and Man.

The Book of Titus clearly reveals that Jesus was both God and man in that He is called Savior right along with God as Savior too:

Titus 1:3- God our Savior

Titus 1:4- Jesus Christ our Savior

Titus 2:13- both God and Savior Jesus Christ

The whole book reveals that Jesus and God are both One: they are both Savior

Is 45: 21

Is 63:7-9

So we read here that it was God Himself who became our Savior to save us from His wrath and to redeem us to Himself.

And it was God who chose us to receive this redemption...

Eph 1:3-7

Not of any works, but of God's mercy. As we read in the opening verse, our God is merciful in that He loved us from the foundations of the world.

John 3:16

Ro 8:28-29

1 Pet 1:2

We love others only because God first loved us. He gave us that capability to love others simply and perfectly through Christ Jesus.

Luke 1:67-80

In this incredible prayer by Zacharias, we read about the redemption of God through Christ. That God had "visited His people" after being silent for 400 years. Zacharias reminds the people that God did remember His covenant, that oath He swore to Abraham long before.

Imagine what comfort those words gave to the people near Zacharias? That now God has granted them deliverance from their enemies and the ability to serve Him without fear, but in holiness and righteousness before him!

And then he announces that his son, Joh, will prepare the people to hear about the salvation that has come to them and the remission of sins through God's tender mercy.

Only through "the Dayspring from on high" can we come before God now. Only through Christ's blood can we serve the living God without fear.

John 1:12-13

Ro 3:21-26

John 15:9

John 17:23

Gal 2:20

Eph 5:25

Rev 1:4-6

Through Jesus we are loved by God and are made kings before Him. God demonstrated this wasn't just a verbal act, it was a physical act as well.

Ro 5:8

Eph 2:13

Heb 10:19

1 Pet 5:10

By Christ alone...

-His blood

-His torn flesh

-His obedience

-His faithfulness

-His works

...not ours!

John 15:5

Because of Jesus we can now do all things!

Phil 4:112-13

Phil 4:19

2 Cor 2:14-15

We are not triumphant through Christ. We have victory through Him!

1 Cor 15:56-58

And as a result, we shall be steadfast and immovable..."always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Take time today to mediate on all that you have learned here. Take time to really praise God for what He has done for you.

Ps 31:23-24

Ps 45:7

Ps 145:20

John 15:13

Now that's love!


Life Application

No one wants to be made a fool. No one likes to look foolish.

When my son started his Bible Study blog, he was excited at first to show his friends what the Bible says about the end times. He wrote some really nice lessons for them. You can read them here:

But as time went on, fewer and fewer of his friends visited his blog and now the excitement has worn off. He has become frustrated and dissillusioned by the disinterest of his friends.

He once asked me, "What if we find out that Jesus didn't exist and that the Bible isn't true?" I could tell that he was worried that he would be made a fool of in front of his friends.

That is why I love 1 Cor 15:56-58

God assures us through Paul's writings that our work will not be in vain. Paul reiterates God's words through Isaish in Romans:

Ro 9:33

I suppose Paul was being told of doubters among the believers in Rome and Corinth. Heck, even John the Baptists doubted at one time!

Luke 7:18-22

So, the Lord laid it upon Paul to reassure believers that they will not do the Lord's work in vain nor will they be put to shame for believing in the risen Christ. On the contrary..we will be victorious. We will be overcomers and have that final victory if we remain and stay and stand until the end.

This is what I tell my son: Do the Lord's work, not for praise from man....but to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

We will not be made to look foolish nor will be ashamed. God is merciful and loving. He sees all that we do. Thank the Lord for that!


Until next time.....

"God sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins to bear the righteous judgment that our sins deserved. That is why John says, 'Herein is love'. At our best and highest, at our finest and purest, we are still sinners deserving God's wrathful judgment. But he loved us. And what God has done for us is the primary incentive for us to love one another."

-Dr. Joel Beeke (The Epistles of John, 2006, p. 161)