1 John 2:18-25 (NRSV)
Remain in union with God
Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.
Today’s scripture is a vivid reminder of the importance of keeping first things first!
What is the thing that we should give First Place in our lives? It is our relationship with God through Jesus Christ!
It is so easy to become distracted by all of the trappings of this world! This is why today’s scripture says, “Children, it is the last hour!”
This is obviously meant to remind us that time is precious and of the essence. Our relationship with God through Jesus Christ must be attended to every single day, as if it will be our last day upon the Earth.
We understand this timeless truth in regard to other people whom we love such as our partners and/or children. Every day, I attempt to love my husband and kids so much that if they passed away in the night, I would have no regrets.
To this end I say things like, “I love you. I need you. You’re the best! You make me happy! You’re beautiful, gifted, talent and smart! Truly, you are the face, hands, feet, or voice of God in my life today…”
The old folks in my life always say, “Tomorrow isn’t promised…” and it isn’t my friends! Just as we tenderly care for our relationships with family and friends, we must care for our love relationship with God as well.
Today’s scripture says, “We have been anointed by the Holy one and we have knowledge…Let what you heard…abide in you.”
Isn’t that grand?! When we entered into relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, we were filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us into a new and deeper understanding of the truth that God loves, gave, and saves.
The Holy Spirit fills us with love so that we will recognize the work of God in the people and circumstances around us. Where there is love, God is present, for GOD IS LOVE.
This is what we know my friends. God loves us so much--and so unconditionally--that God gave Jesus to die on the cross to make atonement for our sin and to open the door to eternal life.
Now, that’s REAL LOVE…For real love lays down its life for its friends…
As we abide in that real and true love that comes from God, we will learn to recognize God’s love working in others. We will also learn to recognize when people are operating out of a place that is not rooted in love.
When we encounter these people—and we will--we must learn to pray for them. They need to know Jesus! They need to understand God’s awesome love for them! They need to come into an awareness of God’s abiding presence all around them! They need to believe that Jesus died on the cross for them! Finally, they need to learn to abide in God’s love which secures our eternal life.
This, then, is real life--abiding in the Love of God revealed to us in Christ Jesus. As we abide, Spirit will give us new ideas, vision, resources, and strength to share God’s love with others!
We will begin to pray, “Lead me, guide me, along the way. For, if you lead me I cannot stray! Lord, let me walk each day with Thee. Lead me, O Lord, lead me…”
Everyone needs to know that God is LOVE and everyone needs to know that they are loved forever and forever, Amen.
Who can you share God’s love with today?
God of Love, please fill me with the Spirit of Love, so that I can share Your Love with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus"
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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com