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. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 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. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 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.
As a Pastor, I have the honor of performing weddings. They are a delight. In the process of preparing for a wedding, I counsel the couples on some critical issues for a successful marriage. Probably the most intense discussion that occurs always centers on mutual submission. Marriages require Christ like leadership and Solomon like wisdom. Husbands are called to lead like a servant–simply put, they are living sacrifices in their marriage. Their interests always finish last, their minds always focused upon protecting and providing for their family. Within that framework, wives allow them to lead, but partner with them in their day to day operation.
Husbands, if wise, also recognize the absolute operational savvy of their wives. After 22 years, I have learned to listen to my wife on all issues related to parenting, building relationships, listening and public appearance–If you remove those categories, pretty much all that is left is Sports and Sci-fi. When I treat my wife as a partner, I am the winner mainly because she is the BETTER Half. If I treated her as an inferior or subservient person, I would be wrong 1st and foolish 2nd. She has shown, throughout our marriage, she holds my interests as primary and our family as the most precious possession.
It is mutual submission that makes families great and Christ honored. Do not fear it–Submit to Christ and each other and watch God build a legacy that lasts for generations.
God Bless You
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight…Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Samuel went into the service of the Priest Eli. Eli had 2 sons. They had no respect for the Lord. They treated their duties with Contempt—they treated their father with contempt and worst they treated God and his sacrifice with contempt. What an environment for a child who is to serve God all his life. Fortunately, God’s plan is often greater than even his priests! What an important reminder for us as his children to remember that we are often God’s representative to the people. He does not take lightly the mistreatment of his people, his name or his sacrifice.
In our lives, we are often faced with opportunities to represent God. If we try to act in our own power, it is like Eli’s boys acted about the sacrifice. We need to remember as living sacrifices, we need to submit to God’s leadership—honor his name and walk humbly in his love. We respect his plan. We do not try to do this on our own, but we simply follow his lead—like Samuel. Then we can enjoy his peace that truly passes all understanding.
God Bless You.
12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord 13 or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli’s sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling, 14 the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli’s sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way. 15 Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal’s fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting.
16 The man offering the sacrifice might reply, “Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first.” Then the servant would demand, “No, give it to me now, or I’ll take it by force.” 17 So the sin of these young men was very serious in the Lord’s sight, for they treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt.