My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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A Faith for All Ages
My mom blessing my niece Misty Johnson at her wedding, with my great-niece Rachel looking on.
1 John 2:12I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven on account of his name.
13I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young people,
because you have conquered the evil one.
14I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young people,
because you are strong
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
This passage in 1 John has been referred to in different ways. John Wesley would suggest that these are levels of spiritual maturity. Little children in their faith are embracing the fact that their sins are forgiven. Spiritual fathers have grown to a place of maturity where they are in intimate contact with the Father. Young people are vibrant and in the middle of their spiritual development, knowing that they have conquered the evil one.
He continues with the spiritual children who know the father. Again, he affirms that the fathers, those who have been journeying for a long period of time with the Lord are living in continual fellowship with the Triune God. The young people, in the middle of their spiritual journey are strong, and learning that the word abides in them, and they are overcoming the evil one.
This is a faith for all ages, and for all stages of spiritual development.
I’d like to think of this passage in light of a multigenerational church, and one in which we are all growing spiritually. Let’s look at the little children who come with innocent faith and trust in the Lord for forgiveness of sin. Their innocence speaks to all of us and reminds us of what it’s like to have that child-like faith.
At the same time the fathers, and I would suggest, the mothers, of the faith have a role to play. We need every generation present because each one brings something unique to the table. It’s from my parents that I learned about intimacy with the Lord. They are the ones who modeled the spiritual journey, day after day following Jesus. They did know the Father and “him who is from the beginning.” I even learned that from my grandfather, CB Johnson, who prayed the most heartfelt prayers that I have ever heard. Even as a child, I recognized that something amazing happened when he prayed.
The young people are needed in the community of faith. They are the ones with energy and vision. I think we need to pray for our young people because we need them to see the spiritual warfare which surrounds us. The word must abide in their hearts and lives.
We really become intertwined, a community which builds one-another up. At the same time, there ought to be a push toward discipleship; a discipleship which leads to spiritual growth and development. We do begin this journey as little children. As we read and study the word, abiding in the Lord, we are able to see the spiritual condition of the world around us. We begin to understand the need to overcome and conquer the evil one. And finally, we understand that this journey of faith will lead us to a place of intimate participation with God. Here we will really know our Father, the Triune God who has been from the very beginning.
We are all welcomed into this multi-generational faith; a life-long journey in community with God and humankind.
Lord, may the church reflect the beauty of this faith. Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…