"Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Hard times are coming.
1 John 3:7-24
We know that God loved us because of what Christ has done for us. God's love came to us before we had done anything to deserve it. Because God loved us, we are supposed to help those in need.
Because God loved us. Not in order to get God to love us. That's already happened.
And love is not just that warm emotion. The love in this letter is acted out in deed.
Questions addressed in this passage:
How do we receive reassurance that we are from the truth? That is, can we give examples of how God's love is demonstrated through our actions?
Believing in Jesus Christ and loving one another. Have we tried to do the first without doing the second? It's one command, not two.
How do we know that Jesus abides in us? We know because we are obeying his commands.
John Wesley preached against what he called the "Almost Christian." The Almost Christian does nothing that the Bible forbids. He avoids murder, theft, adultery, and fornication. He keeps the Sabbath. He does to church, he prays, and so on. But, according to Wesley, he is missing something necessary. He's missing the command to love his neighbor a himself.
How do we become the "Altogether Christian"? We love God and those whom God love--including people we don't even like. After all, this is his commandment:
that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another.Psalm 122:1-9
This psalm begins with an expression of gratitude to be able to go into Jerusalem. We modern day Christians can read this as a reminder of what God did long ago, and we can read these words as a reminder of what God is still doing and will do.
What is our Jerusalem? Where do we see ourselves gathered in worship? Do we visualize this place as one with many kinds of people gathering?
And, there, what do we pray for?
And, having prayed, what do we do when we leave our places of worship? Whose good are we seeking?
One who is often reproved, yet remains stubborn,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
Prayer for Today: O Lord, keep pointing out to us how to show our love for you by showing love to other people, even those we would rather not have anything to do with. Amen.