Dearly Beloved…

This post first appeared on on 9/8/19.

I enjoy Sunday mornings so much! Now that I’m retired, it’s the only day of the week that I set my alarm clock. I like to get to church early so I can make sure the band has everything they need for a run through before people begin to arrive. And after that, the praise team has time for bonding and Bible study.

But nothing gets my day going better than a sermon that grabs your attention at the very beginning! “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called LIFE.” I’m guessing that our congregation was the only one that got started with this reference!

Jon’s been preaching on 1 John and today’s sermon continued with 4:13-21. Some people think the greatest evidence of God’s presence is power. Others think popularity and still others think passionate feelings show his presence. But these things can all be faked. So, how can we tell if God is present? If God is among us and at work, there will be love. To illustrate this, think about times when Jesus seemed weak because he didn’t command the sword and demand obedience, but he was full of love. There were often times when he wasn’t popular at all, even with his own people, but again, he was full of love. Love is what we can always associate with him. If you can’t find love in a situation, God’s probably not there.

We are to love everyone. Period. It doesn’t matter their politics, their preference in gender, where they are from, or any other label you can put on them. God may be disappointed because they aren’t abiding in him so he can’t bless them like he wants to. But he loves us so much and wants to abide in us. However, if we choose to live in darkness, he can’t be in us. But if you’ll just lean in to him, he can grab you back to him.

When judgment day comes, we will know it all! The greatness of Jesus is that he died for us that we might have salvation in him. Do you realize what a great gift that is? To live forever and ever in heaven with God and all of the other righteous! If you abide in God, there is nothing to fear about judgment day!

So how can we prepare? Repent, ask for forgiveness, be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and abide in God. There is the seed of righteousness in you when you abide in God! Go out in love to gather the harvest for judgment day! God wants none to perish, we must do our part!

May each of us do this using the gifts we are given. Don’t know what your gifts are?
Ask God and listen. Follow the path he has prepared for you.

Love In Faith,

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