Friday, March 27, 2015

Musings on First John (2:18-19)

Wordle: Musings
18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
Here John talks of false teachers, those who left the early church, who didn't really belong. He calls them antichrists, not to be confused with “The Antichrist”. They were unbelievers who posed as Christians.

Have you encountered many of them? I sure have—even in the pulpit! Looks like this sort of thing has been going on from the very start of Christianity. Anyone who acts, preaches, or lives in direct opposition to Jesus’ teachings is an anti-christ.

Interesting fact: Although the word "antichrist" (Greek antikhristos) is used only in the Epistles of John, the similar word "pseudochrist" (Greek pseudokhristos, meaning "false messiah") is used by Jesus in the gospels.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Musings on First John (2:15-17)

Wordle: Musings
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Clearly John does not mean the world as in the earth, nature, animals, etc., but he’s speaking of the world order or the world system which is quite fallen in its very nature: warring, corrupt, evil, self-centered, money-grabbing, lustful and so on. Do you love that world? Hope not, for if you do then God’s love is not in you. John explains that the broken world system will pass away. I’m pretty thankful about that. It’s great to know that this awful turmoil will end.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Musings on First John (2:7-11)

Wordle: Musings
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command: its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
So, John says he’s writing a new command, but he doesn't say it outright here. What is it? Love one another. He actually does reveal this in his gospel record where he quotes Jesus: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Notice how many times the word light appears. Read verse 10 again and think about the marvelous "consequences" of loving your brother (neighbor): there’s nothing to make you mess up if you love one another.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Musings on First John (2:3-6)

Wordle: Musings
3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Anybody can call himself a Christian, but real Christians obey God’s commands. That makes them easy to spot most times. Are you shocked by verse 4? It’s pretty strong. It calls you a liar if you say you know God, but your actions prove otherwise. In his gospel record John records Jesus’ words: “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

$25 Gift Card Giveaway

At Creative Prose Publishing (CPP), we've have had the honor of working with a really great group of authors. They're supportive, and freely offer encouragement to each other. It's a real joy working with this wonderful group! As a thank you to them for taking a chance with CPP, we are offering a $25 gift card to one lucky reader (scroll down for Rafflecopter entries). But, we ask that you not just enter to win, we ask that you look over these incredible books and try a few. You will not be disappointed!