I John 5–In Closing…

In the end, there have always been two great commands from God; Love the true God, and love others as you love yourself.  All other commands and direction fall within those parameters.  John closes his letter to the church by laying that out very clearly.  We are God’s chosen adopted children if we believe that Christ is the Savior and Lord. The evidence of our belief is our love for God and his people.  Further evidence is following Him and doing what He has called us to do.
 
We see the truth through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We also testify to that truth by our words and our daily lives. We are not expected to be perfect, but, we are called to be different. That difference is a lifetime process of transformation that always centers on the gift of salvation. As we journey, we see God’s hand on our lives and become more like him with the passage of each day. In the end, however, it still comes down to this: “He who has the Son Has Life; and He who rejects that gift does not have eternal life.”
As we end the decade, we need to be reminded that our Journey is swift and our destination is eternity. We, therefore, are called to live for that end and not for the temporary promises of this world.  Happy New Year.
 
God Bless You

 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Blessings–Genesis 49

When Jacob was ready to die, he gave a final talk to his sons.  He took time to “bless” each of them. The blessing he provided was not a treasure or property of some sort, instead, it was disclosure of what was to come for each of them—based on their character and behavior.  In the “blessing”, Jacob told his sons some pretty hard things.  None were intended as an insult, instead, each was simply a look ahead at what was to come. Still, as the last visit with their dad, the sons probably had a difficult time hearing the hard words. 

For our lives, God reveals the truth through his word.  So many times, the truths of his word do not line up with our culture.  As such, those of us that believe them and follow them are often called intolerant and hateful. People do not want to be confronted with the truth, they want to be told that any and all behavior is OK.  But, as with Jacob’s sons, our behavior does have consequences.  Our behavior builds a character that becomes not only what we do, but it also becomes who we are.  We should, therefore, live in a way that honors God and shows the world his true nature of love and integrity. Make no mistake, your life and character are intertwined and will define you and your journey.

God Bless You

Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;     listen to your father Israel.

“Reuben, you are my firstborn,     my might, the first sign of my strength,     excelling in honor, excelling in power. Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,     for you went up onto your father’s bed,     onto my couch and defiled it…v26

Your father’s blessings are greater     than the blessings of the ancient mountains,     than[n] the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,     on the brow of the prince among[o] his brothers.

27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;     in the morning he devours the prey,     in the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him…When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people