Saturday, June 26, 2010

1 John 2:1-10

Today I was memorizing 1 John 2:1-10. Since I don't have a lot of time, I just simply underlined my favorite verses or parts of verses in this section.  I love, in a way I guess you could call it a challenge, that John puts in verse 6. If you say you abide in Him, than you ought to walk just as He did. Christ didn't just live His life for fun, or for His own gain, but instead for the glory of the Father. Seeking to serve Him and live out His plan. 

1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.7 Brethren,[a] I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.[b] 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

I must admit, I am not one that forgives and forgets quickly. It is really hard for me to just forget when someone has wronged me, I usually end up with grudges that takes a little while for me to get rid of. So I love that last verse John put on there, "He who loves his brother abides in the light" he's not meaning literal brother, but instead the people around me. He's saying that we need to forget any wrongs and love with a Godly love. That's what I'm striving for.

Anyway, thats all for tonight. What was your favorite verse that you memorized? 


Friday, June 25, 2010

1 John

I'm really excited some of you decided to do this. And I pray we all get more than we ever imagined out of it, as well as it staying with us for the rest of our lives. I'm hoping to be able to post some of the thoughts and insights that may come as I am memorizing this. I would love to hear what you have gotten out of it as well, either through a comment, post on your blog, email or even a guest post on here. I started memorizing today (well I have to admit I memorized a bit yesterday but I was officially starting today) and got through the first 10 verses. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.

To start let me give you a little bid of information and background on the book of 1 John.

Author: John the son of Zebedee (wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation)
Date Written: Between A.D.85-95
Recipient: To all believers, probably a circular letter.

The recipients of this letter at the time were being confronted with a new form of Gnostic teaching.
The main belief in Gnosticism was that the spirit is entirely good and matter is entirely evil. From this five main messages came
1. The human body, since made of matter, is evil.
2. Salvation is really escape from the body achieved by special knowledge (not by faith).
3. Christs true humanity was denied in two ways a. some said that Christ only seemed to have a body, a view called Docetism and b. others said that the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at baptism and left before he died, a view called Cerinthianism.
4. Since the body was considered evil, it was to be treated harshly
5. And at times this dualism gave way to no moral standard and with people ignoring any legal restraint. In this view, since matter was evil and not breaking the law, then breaking God's law was of no moral consequence/

Because of this it seems John wrote the letter for two main reasons the first was to expose false teachers (2:26) and the second was to give believers assurance of salvation (5:13).  Through those two reasons John covers quite a bit in this book but most of the content in this book is really focused towards what the Christian walk should be like and why.

Now that you've gotten a little bit of an over view
Here are the first ten verses (also the first chapter) of 1 John.
 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowshipis with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

I love the predicament John puts us in with that last verse. Either we are sinners, or we are calling Jesus a liar and in that refusing Him and what He said. We are sinners, but verse 7 and 9 sums it up, if we walk in the light there is way out for us. Walking in the light, John says it later in a different way "if we confess our sins" walking in the light means the we are out in the open for all to see, we are accepting that we are what we are and in this case we are asking for a new body and new life in Christ. One aspect of this that struck me was the fact that walking in the light is not just a quick step out then back in so we can say we did it, but a continual journey.
For me that means I should be continually accepting that I'm not perfect but instead a sinner, someone who has done something and been something that crossed Gods standard of holiness and I can neither fix it, nor hide from it, but instead say yes to the person who loves me and cries out for me to accept Him and let Him cover over me and conquer it and create me anew.
Am I striving in my life to walk in the light, am I on that journey? Are you?

What are your thoughts? I would love comments on what you are thinking.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why the Challenge?

Earlier I made a challenge to anyone reading this blog, I'm really excited that some people have taken it up and are doing it with me. When my dad came home today he asked me why the challenge and memorizing so like I said earlier I'm going to explain, and maybe it will convince you to do it (if you haven't decided to yet).

The very first reason has been a lesson I have been learning just recently. One of my biggest prayers in my life is that my relationship with God would grow larger, stronger, and deeper everyday, and that my desire for Him and to serve Him would be my one and only. A little while ago I was going through a rough time in my walk with God and just cried out to Him, "God, why can't my relationship just stay firm all the time? Why do I go through these rough spots? Why can't I just figure it out?" There were definitely a few different lessons I learned that night, and one in particular has kept coming back. Last night I was flipping through my bible, trying to find a spot to read. I finally decided on first John and started going there when I stopped for a second and read a verse. I couldn't find it again after I had flipped past it but as I read it I was hit with the fact that if we don't seek, we won't find. In the past I've found when my relationship was strongest with God I was spending a lot of time with Him, constantly trying to put Him first. But when I stopped or slowed down it all began to slowly fall apart. So my first reason for doing this is to simply put God first and seek Him.

The Second reason was simply God's command  "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads" (Deut. 11:18). Know them inside and out. Why???? Because God knew that it would be able to help us in day to day life.

The third is that it is there to teach me, and gives me a hope. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

The fourth comes with Psalms 19:7-8, put simply tt revives the soul, gives wisdom, brings joy to the heart, is radiant and gives light to the eyes. 
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyesPsalms 19:7-8

In this world there is so much sin, a lot of it hard to detect and so comes the fifth reason. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

The six came when I was talking with a cousin when I went to Colorado. We were talking about purity and came up with an analogy of a glass or container. You fill it with bad stuff, and there isn't much if any room for the good stuff. I the same way you fill it with good thoughts and motives there is no room for the bad thoughts and motives.  "...whatever is true, whatever noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things" (Phil. 4:8). Memorizing 1 John fills your heart with more content that is true, noble, right and pure.

The seventh is simply put in 1st Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. There is so much amazing content in the bible, I only wish I could retain it all. Sadly I can't but I can at least get part of it, in memorization. Then it will always be with me, and when anyone asks I'll have those words hidden in my heart.

I could go on for quite a bit longer, but I'll stop boring you and give you the last few quickly. I've always wanted to memorize a book of the bible, and since I'm not in Awana over the summer and not doing any other scripture memorization this is one way I can do it. It should be lots of fun, a good challenge, and an awesome time. I pray I'll learn lots and be able to get many lessons from this. If you aren't able to do it, but are doing some other memorization or something similar I would love to hear it and you can still be included you can even just read 1 John and learn from it while we are memorizing it. I would love to hear that you are doing, just leave a comment or email me!


A Challenge!!!!!

More details on why I took this challenges is going to come later, but this morning I decided I would memorize 1 John. Its 105 verses and I'm going to try and get it all memorized in 11 days. Thats roughly 10 verses a day.
Now onto the the challenge, Its not the most difficult challenge but it will definitely take work, and I'm not going to say it will be easy, but the reward will be amazing.....will you do it with me?  

 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Well, I've been meaning to post for a while, but haven't gotten around to it till now. Zeb and I are leaving tomorrow morning for Colorado where we are going to help out at rodeo bible camp, and visit family. Other news, Malachi is now 5 years old; he had his birthday in April, Jed had his birthday in May so he is now 11 and the next birthday is Azariah's who will be 1 year old. Talking about Azariah, he finally figured out how to crawl about four weeks ago. Now he is going all over the house getting into everything and we have to make sure to keep an eye on him. The other day someone was asking where he was, since no one had heard anything from him in a while, we found him in the corner holding a phone and being as quite as can be. Thankfully he hadn't called 911.
Another big thing that happened lately was Jed's baptism. This last Sunday the church we go to invited anyone who wanted to, to come up and get baptized. There were about 30 people including Jed who went with Dad. It was a fun and joyful moment as we saw a family member share with the world his new body in Christ.

Anyway, thats all for now. I'm off to get ready.