Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lovers In A Dangerous Time

2 John 1:1 (NLT)
This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, ...

An alternate translation of this phrase: " the chosen lady and to her children, ..." is: "the church God has chosen and its members."

This coded language is used throughout this short letter, so I suspect it is written to a church meeting secretly under dangerous circumstances. If the letter were to be intercepted, there is no way to identify the town or home where the church assembles.

In most western countries it is hard to imagine the dangers faced by Christians. However this threat is familiar even today for Christ's followers who live in places where belief is still outlawed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Know Thyself

1 John 5:1 (NLT)
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. ...

- It's a popular turn of speech to refer to humans as a children of God, which is true in the sense that the life within all of us originates from the CreatorSource - aka God. What I think John is saying here is that when we believe that Jesus is the messiah, and come to understand what that means about who our Source is and who we are at our fullest potential, we truly come to "new" life as children of God.

-- gmc --

Sunday, June 19, 2011

God Is Love

1 John 4:16,19 (NLT)
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. [19] We love each other because he loved us first.

- This chapter on God-as-Love and our relationship with God and one-another because of Love, is one of the most profound passages in the bible. If we can deeply understand just this much of the Good News, we 'get' the core message.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Actions Speak...

1 John 3:17-18 (NLT)
If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion-how can God's love be in that person? [18] Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

See God

1 John 1:2 (NLT)
This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. ...

- I try to imagine what it must have been like... To hold Jesus by the hand, look into his eyes and to know that I am looking into the eyes of God. Staring into the source of my life, holding onto his infinite form as he expresses himself into existence as flesh and blood. To see God and be fully seen... Wow. That would change me forever, I think.

-- gmc --

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Bottom Line

2 Peter 3:18 (NLT)
Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ...

After dealing with certain issues surrounding the question of Christ's return, Peter returns to the bottom line for believers. It is the one thing, the only thing that any of us can do anything about - growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Controls Us?

2 Peter 2:19 (NLT)
They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.

- I don't know who Peter is outing here so vehemently. I'm sure a good bible commentary will have some ideas. There are certainly false teachers around today who come to mind.

Buried in this powerful condemnation is an important little parable: "You are a slave to whatever controls you." That's well worth keeping in mind in any era.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dawn's Early Light

2 Peter 1:4 (NLT)
... to share his divine nature...

- That the divine nature forms within human beings is mind-boggling.

2 Peter 1:16,18 (NLT)
...We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes [18] We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

- Peter is referring to the event where he and two others winessed Jesus' transfiguration, and heard the voice of God testify, "this is my son." That's gotta leave an impression.

2 Peter 1:19 (NLT)
...and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

- the morning star refers to the planet Venus. For much of the year it appears as the brightest star in the dark morning sky as it rises just before the sun. So this is a beautiful metaphor describing Christ's shining in our hearts as a prelude to a much larger light illuminating the whole world.

- I wonder -

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Never Alone

1 Peter 5:9 (NLT)
... Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

1 Peter 5:12 (NLT)
... My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God's grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.

- It's hard to grasp that suffering can actually be a redemptive process - evidence of God's grace. But perhaps there can be some comfort from understanding that suffering is a universal aspect of our human experience. We will have trials, but we do not need to face them alone.