“Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father.”
“Live deeply in what you were taught.”
I’m having some personal difficulty with 1st John. The book seems too ‘black and white.’ John speaks of light and darkness, truth-tellers and liars, Christ and the anti-Christ. You either love your brother or you hate him.
“The one who loves his brother abidesin the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walksin the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1st John 2.10-11 NASU
When it comes to human relationships, is there not something in between love and hate? To my knowledge, I don’t hate anyone, but there are some people I don’t like very much. I have no opportunity to display love toward them because they avoid me in the same way I do them. Does this constitute hatred toward my “brother” and walking “in the darkness”? I hope not. Some people don’t mix well with me. We are like oil and water.
I wish I got along with everyone and, for the most part, I do. I have great relationships with family, clients, and neighbors. But there are those few who, like ‘flies in the ointment,’ ruin my otherwise flawless compatibility record. These detractors prove I am not the “World’s Most Congenial Guy”.
Oddly many of them, like me, are professing believers and active church goers. I don’t get it. When I am around these people I receive no ‘warm fuzzies,’ only ‘cold pricklies.’ Why won’t Jesus wipe away all differences and help us achieve the unity He promised and commanded? Am I doing something wrong? Are they the bad guys? Or, is there an explanation that, for the moment, eludes me?
Only one thing consistently gives me the warm fuzzy feeling… “the original message” of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I “let it sink into my life” I feel better, more confident of His calling and love. When I press into Jesus and the truths of the Bible, I experience the personal benefits of living “deeply in both the Son and the Father.” To “live deeply in what I was taught” when I first met the Lord nearly 47 years ago brings an inner joy and peace that cannot be shaken. Living deeply for Christ is the only response that makes sense of the cold prickly people I know.
I will try to love them, but when I fail, and fail I will, Jesus will have to sort it out for me later.
Hugging cactus from webcomic "A Simple Apology" by Mark Gleim.
Thank you for visiting my Bible web log. It is a collection of personal insights gained from my daily practice of devotional study in God's Word. The entries were inspired by a two-year Bible reading cycle beginning in May 2006.
Please post your comments at the end of any article. I appreciate hearing from you.
In spite of the inspired efforts of prophets like Elijah and Elisha, the northern nation of Israel with its capital city of Samaria suffered under a parade of unworthy kings who led the people into destruction and captivity at the hands of Assyria approximately 722 years before the birth of Christ. The author of 2nd Kings offered this explanation…
“All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God” 2nd Kings 17.7
Following the persecution and dispersion of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 8.1-4), chief accuser Saul miraculously converted to Christianity and together with Barnabas was appointed by the Holy Spirit to embark on a missionary journey (Acts 13.1-3). Being rejected by the Jews, Saul (later called Paul) brought the message of Jesus to the Gentiles in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13.47).
Twenty centuries later, believers are still bringing this message of power, hope, and salvation to “the ends of the earth”…
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” Acts 16.31
Bible Reading Plan
There are 52 weeks and 260 weekdays in any given year (52 X 5 = 260). Coincidentally, there are also 260 chapters in the New Testament. By reading one chapter of the New Testament every Monday through Friday, you will finish the entire New Testament in a year.
If you are a little more ambitious, you may want to read the whole Old Testament in a year on this 5 day a week reading plan.
Avid Bible students may accomplish the entire Bible each year by simply reading both Old and New Testament columns in the reading plan provided at the link below.
If you fall behind, use the weekends to catch up. If you fall far behind, don’t worry about it. Just pick up your reading for the day. The study of God’s Word should not be approached as a competition or legal requirement for believers. You don’t have to read the Bible. You get to. Enjoy your time in the Scriptures and read with a spirit of anticipation. Jesus will speak to you through His Word.
You may obtain current versions of this Bible reading plan at these links:
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Dedicated to the mission of Word Traveler:
--"Transforming lives by a daily encounter ---with God through His Word."