“Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing…” What a powerful verse; every word is loaded. To think of a Savior who keeps us, strengthens us, purifies us, and brings us into his presence in such a way that our response will be not fear, but rejoicing, is mind boggling. How could living in the reality of these truths change our hearts, our lives, and our future? Which words are most significant to you? You, O Lord Jesus, are simply amazing!
“I have much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink, instead I hope to see you soon, and we will talk together face to face.” John knew, even without Facebook, twitter, and Snapchat, that there was something different about face to face communication that was better than pen and ink. What makes face to face conversations meaningful and essential? Who do you need to see face to face to really communicate that you would like to? God, real communication is work, messy, and time consuming; help us to love others face to face.
“Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” In a world of “tolerance” and “diversity,” God’s word still challenges and warns us. What does it mean to abide in Christ’s teaching? What does it mean to “go beyond it?” Why is this scripture still important for us to hear and apply? Father, it is always easy for us to make faith comfortable and agreeable to our personal desires and whims. Keep us focused on Your truth that endures.
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved…Bear with one another” A list of synonyms for “bear with” includes “put up with,” “make allowance for,” “withstand,” “accept,” “tolerate” and “endure.” None of these is easy in the context of our relationships with people. How are these new clothes working out in my life? What makes it possible to “bear with” when my way and needs are not being appreciated or met? Lord Jesus, be it with family, disciples, sinners, Pharisees, or soldiers on the way to the cross, you demonstrate “bearing with.” Grow me to bear with all people every day.