July 20, 2022
Read 1 John 2:7-14
7 Dear friends, I’m not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the message you heard. 8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light already shines. 9 The one who claims to be in the light while hating a brother or sister is in the darkness even now. 10 The person loving a brother and sister stays in the light, and there is nothing in the light that causes a person to stumble. 11 But the person who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and lives in the darkness, and doesn’t know where to go because the darkness blinds the eyes. 12 Little children, I’m writing to you because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus’ name. 13 Parents, I’m writing to you because you have known the one who has existed from the beginning. Young people, I’m writing to you because you have conquered the evil one. 14 Little children, I write to you because you know the Father. Parents, I write to you because you have known the one who has existed from the beginning. Young people, I write to you because you are strong, the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one.
Good morning! Hallelujah! The Word of God remains within us!.
Living life in the light is glorious! All who know Christ are blessed to see and be led by the light. Sometimes our human frailty pushes its way to the forefront, we become angry with someone, and darkness once again clouds our eyes.
Because God forgives us completely of our sins, we are called to do likewise. Forgiving others can cause a challenge for us because we often have a hard time letting go of whatever wrong that we feel was placed upon us. When we are hurt by someone else, we sound like little children who are trying to make their point, “but he took my . . .”
When we read of those who tried to stand in the way of Jesus’ ministry, we are reminded of how Jesus simply gave love and forgiveness to those who mistreated or blocked his way. 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. (Matthew 5:39-40 NIV)
As is often the case, this teaching is so contrary to how the world views and handles iniquity and injustice. Jesus was sent to walk among us and model a new world order so that we could follow the commandments: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. These are such simple words, yet here we are 2000 years later still struggling to follow these commands.
The most amazing Good News is that despite our flaws and struggles, God loves us unconditionally! We are God’s creation and God promises to be with us always. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 ESV).
Loving and Caring God, Thank You for loving us. We spend too much time looking for reasons to hate. Help us focus on all that is good. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
Thought for the day: I will forgive others because God forgives me.
Give thanks with a grateful heart! Pastor Liz