Shalom. It’s the times and seasons in our life when we look back and recall scenes of peace and serenity. But in our broken world that shalom has been shattered. But there is a restoring and redeeming work God is doing in each of our stories.
God invites us to engage with Him as we would with a friend (see Exodus 33:11). We look to God for his presence in our lives and He assures us He will go with us. As we journey with God in our stories we reflect His glory. Tomorrow we begin our Journals.
God has us on a journey as our stories intersect with His grand Story. God finds Hagar, like He finds us, in a state of brokenness as He asks her (and us) two soul questions.
Orphans. Strangers and Widows. It’s the Bible’s description of all of us. We’ve felt like orphans; fatherless lonely and unprotected. There’s been times in our journey where we’ve been like the stranger, without a friend or betrayed by a close one. We’ve been the widow; by death or distance or rejection. Amidst the brokenness of our stories we encounter a living God who renames us.
In this 'new normal' time period God is calling us to fish on the other side of the boat. It means we will have to pivot and innovate seeking God in all we do and responding to His calling for us individually and collectively.
This is the final message of our 1 John series. In it we look forward to second John for the author's insights into the importance of striking a balance in love and truth. Truth without love is brutal and harsh, while love without truth is watery and weak.
As this chapter of 1 John draws to a close there are five eternal truths that God and the author want us to know. God wants us to know that we can know Him in the deepest sense of the word and that we can trust Him with our whole lives.
New life in God through Jesus Christ proclaims this section. We are believers born of God. We are overcomers through Jesus Christ. Then the apostle John gives us three testifiers: water, blood and the Holy Spirit that remind us of our new identity as Christians.
There is a spiritual enemy at work in our world (v. 1-6). However, God is greater and His very nature is love. We love because he first loved us. We cannot live in love and hate others (v. 7-21).
Anger left unchecked can lead to hatred and even murder John writes (v. 11-15). He then contrasts hatred with love by showing that love works itself out in practical demonstrations of compassion. By continually keeping short accounts with God we can live in this love He gives us.