Lessons from Lent: Day 37

1 Apr

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (4 now because you have already accomplished thirty-six), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-seven

April 1, 2015 ~~ 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

1 John 1

[We are writing] about the Word of Life [[a]in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands. And the Life [[b]an aspect of His being] was revealed (made manifest, demonstrated), and we saw [as eyewitnesses] and are testifying to and declare to you the Life, the eternal Life [[c]in Him] Who already existed with the Father and Who [actually] was made visible (was revealed) to us [His followers]. What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may [d]realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a [e]distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and [f]your joy may be complete].

And this is the message [the message of [g]promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [[h]no, not in any way]. [So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents]. But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].

If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]. If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. 10 If we say (claim) we have not sinned, we contradict His Word and make Him out to be false and a liar, and His Word is not in us [the divine message of the Gospel is not in our hearts].

1 John 2

My little children, I write you these things so that you may not violate God’s law and sin. But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father—[it is] Jesus Christ [the all] righteous [upright, just, Who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose, thought, and action]. And He [[a]that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

And this is how we may discern [[b]daily, by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognize, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]: if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practice) His teachings (precepts, commandments). Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [[c]of the Gospel] is not in him. But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him: Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as [d]a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message which you have heard [the [e]doctrine of salvation through Christ]. Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true (is realized) in Him and in you, because the darkness ([f]moral blindness) is clearing away and the true Light ([g]the revelation of God in Christ) is already shining.

Whoever says he is in the Light and [yet] hates his brother [Christian, [h]born-again child of God his Father] is in darkness even until now. 10 Whoever loves his brother [believer] abides (lives) in the Light, and in It or in him there is no occasion for stumbling or cause for error or sin. 11 But he who hates (detests, despises) his brother [[i]in Christ] is in darkness and walking (living) in the dark; he is straying and does not perceive or know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12 I am writing to you, little children, because for His name’s sake your sins are forgiven [pardoned through His name and on account of confessing His name].

13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be aware of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have been victorious over the wicked [one]. I write to you, [j]boys (lads), because you have come to know (recognize and be aware) of the Father.

14 I write to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be conscious of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong and vigorous, and the Word of God is [always] abiding in you (in your hearts), and you have been victorious over the wicked one.

15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.

18 [k]Boys (lads), it is the last time (hour, the end of this age). And as you have heard that the antichrist [he who will oppose Christ in the guise of Christ] is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, which confirms our belief that it is the final (the end) time. 19 They went out from our number, but they did not [really] belong to us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us. But [they withdrew] that it might be plain that they all are not of us.

20 But you have been anointed by [you hold a sacred appointment from, you have been given an unction from] the Holy One, and you all know [the Truth] or you know all things. 21 I write to you not because you are ignorant and do not perceive and know the Truth, but because you do perceive and know it, and [know positively] that nothing false (no deception, no lie) is of the Truth. 22 Who is [such a] liar as he who denies that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah)? He is the antichrist (the antagonist of Christ), who [[l]habitually] denies and refuses to acknowledge the Father and the Son. 23 No one who [[m]habitually] denies (disowns) the Son [n]even has the Father. Whoever confesses (acknowledges and has) the Son has the Father also.

24 As for you, keep in your hearts what you have heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the first dwells and remains in you, then you will dwell in the Son and in the Father [always]. 25 And this is what He Himself has promised us—the life, the eternal [life].

26 I write this to you with reference to those who would deceive you [seduce and lead you astray]. 27 But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [[o]permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being [p]rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do].

28 And now, little children, abide (live, remain [q]permanently) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence (boldness, assurance) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming.

29 If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him [[r]God].

1 John 3

See what [[a]an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him. Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [[b]as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him [c]just as He [really] is. And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect—being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will). You know that He appeared in visible form and became Man to take away [upon Himself] sins, and in Him there is no sin [[d]essentially and forever]. No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains [e]in communion with and in obedience to Him—deliberately, knowingly, and [f]habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].

7 [g]Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous. [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done]. No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and [h]habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. 10 By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow [i]believer in Christ).

11 For this is the message (the announcement) which you have heard from the first, that we should love one another, 12 [And] not be like Cain who [took his nature and got his motivation] from the evil one and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his deeds (activities, works) were wicked and malicious and his brother’s were righteous (virtuous). 13 Do not be surprised and wonder, brethren, that the world detests and pursues you with hatred. 14 We know that we have passed over out of death into Life by the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is [j]held and kept continually) in [spiritual] death. 15 Anyone who hates (abominates, detests) his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding ([k]persevering) within him.

16 By this we come to know (progressively to recognize, to perceive, to understand) the [essential] love: that He laid down His [own] life for us; and we ought to lay [our] lives down for [those who are our] brothers [[l]in Him]. 17 But if anyone has this world’s goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and [m]fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him? 18 Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). 19 By this we shall come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence, 20 Whenever our hearts in [[n]tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For [o]we are in God’s hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him].

21 And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God, 22 And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [[p]watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [[q]habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him. 23 And this is His order (His command, His injunction): that we should believe in (put our faith and trust in and adhere to and rely on) the name of His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and that we should love one another, just as He has commanded us. 24 All who keep His commandments [who obey His orders and follow His plan, live and continue to live, to stay and] abide in Him, and He in them. [[r]They let Christ be a home to them and they are the home of Christ.] And by this we know and understand and have the proof that He [really] lives and makes His home in us: by the [Holy] Spirit Whom He has given us.

1 John 4

Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world. By this you may know (perceive and recognize) the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [actually] has become man and has come in the flesh is of God [has God for its source]; And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would [a]annul, destroy, [b]sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [[c]nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.

Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world. They proceed from the world and are of the world; therefore it is out of the world [its [d]whole economy morally considered] that they speak, and the world listens (pays attention) to them. We are [children] of God. Whoever is learning to know God [progressively to perceive, recognize, and understand God by observation and experience, and to [e]get an ever-clearer knowledge of Him] listens to us; and he who is not of God does not listen or pay attention to us. By this we know (recognize) the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or [f]unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another. 12 No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!

13 By this we come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we abide (live and remain) in Him and He in us: because He has given (imparted) to us of His [Holy] Spirit. 14 And [besides] we ourselves have seen (have deliberately and steadfastly contemplated) and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son [as the] Savior of the world. 15 Anyone who confesses (acknowledges, owns) that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides (lives, makes His home) in him and he [abides, lives, makes his home] in God. 16 And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.

17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love [g]turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear [h]brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

19 We love Him, because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [[i]in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. 21 And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [[j]believer] also.

1 John 5

Everyone who believes (adheres to, trusts, and relies on the fact) that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is a born-again child of God; and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him (His offspring). By this we come to know (recognize and understand) that we love the children of God: when we love God and obey His commands (orders, charges)—[when we keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and His teaching]. For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?

This is He Who came by (with) water and blood [[a]His baptism and His death], Jesus Christ (the Messiah)—not by (in) the water only, but by (in) the water and the blood. And it is the [Holy] Spirit Who bears witness, because the [Holy] Spirit is the Truth. So there are three witnesses [b]in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One; and there are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree [are in unison; their testimony coincides]. If we accept [as we do] the testimony of men [if we are willing to take human authority], the testimony of God is greater (of stronger authority), for this is the testimony of God, even the witness which He has borne regarding His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] has the testimony [possesses this divine attestation] within himself. He who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him out to be and represented Him as a liar, because he has not believed (put his faith in, adhered to, and relied on) the evidence (the testimony) that God has borne regarding His Son. 11 And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life.

13 I write this to you who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) the name of the Son of God [in [c]the peculiar services and blessings conferred by Him on men], so that you may know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have life, [d]yes, eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.

16 If anyone sees his brother [believer] committing a sin that does not [lead to] death (the extinguishing of life), he will pray and [God] will give him life [yes, He will grant life to all those whose sin is not one leading to death]. There is a sin [that leads] to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin which does not [involve] death [that may be repented of and forgiven].

18 We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him]. 19 We know [positively] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] is under the power of the evil one. 20 And we [have seen and] know [positively] that the Son of God has [actually] come to this world and has given us understanding and insight [progressively] to perceive (recognize) and come to know better and more clearly Him Who is true; and we are in Him Who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). This [Man] is the true God and Life eternal.

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)—[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. Amen (so let it be).

2 John 1

The elderly elder [of the church addresses this letter] to the elect (chosen) lady (Cyria) and her children, whom I truly love—and not only I but also all who are [progressively] learning to recognize and know and understand the Truth— Because of the Truth which lives and stays on in our hearts and will be with us forever:

Grace (spiritual blessing), mercy, and [soul] peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ (the Messiah), the Father’s Son, in all sincerity (truth) and love.

I was greatly delighted to find some of your children walking (living) in [the] Truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father [Himself]. And now I beg you, lady (Cyria), not as if I were issuing a new charge (injunction or command), but [simply recalling to your mind] the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And what this love consists in is this: that we live and walk in accordance with and guided by His commandments (His orders, ordinances, precepts, teaching). This is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you continue to walk in love [guided by it and following it].

For many imposters (seducers, deceivers, and false leaders) have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge (confess, admit) the coming of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) in bodily form. Such a one is the imposter (the seducer, the deceiver, the false leader, the antagonist of Christ) and the antichrist. Look to yourselves (take care) that you may not lose (throw away or destroy) all that we and you have labored for, but that you may [persevere until you] win and receive back a perfect reward [in full]. Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught], do not receive him [do not accept him, do not welcome or admit him] into [your] house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement. 11 For he who wishes him success [who encourages him, wishing him Godspeed] is a partaker in his evil doings.

12 I have many things to write to you, but I prefer not to do so with paper and ink; I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your elect (chosen) sister wish to be remembered to you. Amen (so be it).

3 John 1

The elderly elder [of the church addresses this letter] to the beloved (esteemed) Gaius, whom I truly love.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. In fact, I greatly rejoiced when [some of] the brethren from time to time arrived and spoke [so highly] of the sincerity and fidelity of your life, as indeed you do live in the Truth [the whole Gospel presents]. I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living their lives in the Truth.

Beloved, it is a fine and faithful work that you are doing when you give any service to the [Christian] brethren, and [especially when they are] strangers. They have testified before the church of your love and friendship. You will do well to forward them on their journey [and you will please do so] in a way worthy of God’s [service]. For these [traveling missionaries] have gone out for the Name’s sake (for His sake) and are accepting nothing from the Gentiles (the heathen, the non-Israelites). So we ourselves ought to support such people [to welcome and provide for them], in order that we may be fellow workers in the Truth (the whole Gospel) and cooperate with its teachers.

I have written briefly to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to take the lead among them and put himself first, does not acknowledge my authority and refuses to accept my suggestions or to listen to me. 10 So when I arrive, I will call attention to what he is doing, his boiling over and casting malicious reflections upon us with insinuating language. And not satisfied with that, he refuses to receive and welcome the [missionary] brethren himself, and also interferes with and forbids those who would welcome them, and tries to expel (excommunicate) them from the church.

11 Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all]. 12 Demetrius has warm commendation from everyone—and from the Truth itself; we add our testimony also, and you know that our testimony is true.

13 I had much [to say to you when I began] to write, but I prefer not to put it down with pen (a reed) and ink; 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk together face to face.

15 Peace be to you! (Good-bye!) The friends here send you greetings. Remember me to the friends there [to every one of them personally] by name.

Jude 1

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and brother of James, [writes this letter] to those who are called (chosen), dearly loved by God the Father and separated (set apart) and kept for Jesus Christ:

May mercy, [soul] peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you in regard to our common salvation. [But] I found it necessary and was impelled to write you and urgently appeal to and exhort [you] to contend for the faith which was once for all [a]handed down to the saints [the faith which is that sum of Christian belief which was delivered [b]verbally to the holy people of God]. For certain men have crept in stealthily [[c]gaining entrance secretly by a side door]. Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly (impious, profane) persons who pervert the grace (the spiritual blessing and favor) of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality, and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Now I want to remind you, though you were fully informed once for all, that though the Lord [at one time] delivered a people out of the land of Egypt, He subsequently destroyed those [of them] who did not believe [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him]. And angels who did not keep (care for, guard, and hold to) their own first place of power but abandoned their proper dwelling place—these He has reserved in custody in eternal chains (bonds) under the thick gloom of utter darkness until the judgment and doom of the great day. [The wicked are sentenced to suffer] just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the adjacent towns—which likewise gave themselves over to impurity and indulged in unnatural vice and sensual perversity—are laid out [in plain sight] as an exhibit of perpetual punishment [to warn] of everlasting fire.

Nevertheless in like manner, these dreamers also corrupt the body, scorn and reject authority and government, and revile and libel and scoff at [heavenly] glories (the glorious ones). But when [even] the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, judicially argued (disputed) about the body of Moses, he dared not [presume to] bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, The Lord rebuke you!10 But these men revile (scoff and sneer at) anything they do not happen to be acquainted with and do not understand; and whatever they do understand physically [that which they know by mere instinct], like irrational beasts—by these they corrupt themselves and are destroyed (perish).

11 Woe to them! For they have run riotously in the way of Cain, and have abandoned themselves for the sake of gain [it offers them, following] the error of Balaam, and have perished in rebellion [like that] of Korah!

12 These are hidden reefs (elements of danger) in your love feasts, where they boldly feast sumptuously [carousing together in your midst], without scruples providing for themselves [alone]. They are clouds without water, swept along by the winds; trees, without fruit at the late autumn gathering time—twice (doubly) dead, [lifeless and] plucked up by the roots; 13 Wild waves of the sea, flinging up the foam of their own shame and disgrace; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of eternal darkness has been reserved forever.

14 It was of these people, moreover, that Enoch in the seventh [generation] from Adam prophesied when he said, Behold, the Lord comes with His myriads of holy ones (ten thousands of His saints) 15 To execute judgment upon all and to convict all the impious (unholy ones) of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed [in such an] ungodly [way], and of all the severe (abusive, jarring) things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. 16 These are inveterate murmurers (grumblers) who complain [of their lot in life], going after their own desires [controlled by their passions]; their talk is boastful and arrogant, [and they claim to] admire men’s persons and pay people flattering compliments to gain advantage.

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions which were made by the apostles (the special messengers) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 18 They told you beforehand, In the last days (in the end time) there will be scoffers [who seek to gratify their own unholy desires], following after their own ungodly passions. 19 It is these who are [agitators] setting up distinctions and causing divisions—merely sensual [creatures, carnal, worldly-minded people], devoid of the [Holy] Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life.

20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [[d]make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit; 21 Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)—[which will bring you] unto life eternal.

22 And refute [so as to] convict some who dispute with you, and on some have mercy who waver and doubt. 23 [Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.

24 Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]— 25 To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).

Amen

#lessonsfromlent

I heard a message several years ago and the teacher suggested that sometimes when you’re in a bad spot, when your circumstances seem to overwhelm you, when your own heart condemns you . . . you have to “know what you know.” I think the book of 1 John says that more clearly and straight out than any other book in the Bible. There are over 25 instances of “know what you know” written down by the pen of John and I’ve been very blessed by God clearly telling me, over and over again, that if He’s going to say it that often, I need to live by it. And I’ve had a test or two to be certain I would know how to apply it.

When I am feeling overwhelmed by circumstances of my own making, weighed down in the knowledge that I still have to be on guard against things I should’ve been done with long ago . . . I know that my Jesus has drawn me out of the deep pit and rescued me. He’s brought me to the surface, led me to a spacious place and said “Breathe, child breathe.” And the part that always thrills me beyond belief is that He did this simply because . . . He delighted in me.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.  Psalm 18:16-19 (NIV)

When I am wondering if I can stand firm in my faith and not yield to the temptations that rage inside my heart, I know that in my struggle against sin I am sharing in the sufferings of my Messiah. That He has not now nor will He ever leave me to fend for myself in the hands of the tempter or at the mercy of my own flesh because He Himself has made the way out from under whatever compulsion or desire that may try and seize me. I know . . . He is faithful.

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.  Hebrews 2:8 (NIV)

13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

When I’m absolutely certain that I cannot do what needs to be done in a day, I look to Him and I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I know that I head into the battle of that moment under the Lord’s Banner and I know there is no fight He will lead me to that Jesus has not already won. I know . . . He has made me more than a conqueror.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.  Exodus 17:15 (NIV)

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  Romans 8:37 (NIV)

When my heart has convinced me that I am alone, forgotten, and unimportant, I know He has summoned me by name and declared for all the heavenlies to hear that I am His. I know the Lion of Judah, my Mighty Warrior, has roared love over me and that the Lord Himself sings over me with rejoicing.  I am firmly planted in the heart of my Savior, secure in His Holy Hand, and Sweet One . . . He calls me friend.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  John 10:28-29 (NIV)

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:15 (NIV)

Girlfriend, His Word is chocked full of His declarations regarding us. But we don’t have a prayer of having His love letter on the tip of our tongues unless we’ve read it. Felt the edge of the pages. Searched it over, time and time again. Spoken it aloud. Heard the cadence of it and grabbed onto it with all our hearts. He woos us with His words and strengthens us with every verse but . . . none of this benefits or changes Him. He didn’t make sure the Holy Writ was preserved through the generations for Himself. . . God already knows God, inside and out.

Our overwhelming self-made circumstances do not take Him by surprise. He’s got some Scripture for that. Our struggling nature does not catch Him off guard. He’s given us a Passage for that. The demands of our days are not a revelation to Him and He’s given us verse after verse for that. He’s written it all down for us. He knew exactly how to meet our every need, cut through every circumstance, and answer every prayer. He has always known.

Nothing dumbfounds, takes aback, or renders our God speechless . . .He always has a Word for that. . .whatever that may be. He knew that you and I would waver without His Holy Voice to spur us on. He knew our knees would buckle if our heart couldn’t hear Him. He knew and it seems He put John’s pen to the paper to make sure we knew . . . that Sister, we need to know what we know.

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I need to know what I know . . . #lessonsfromlent

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