Digging in Deeper: 1 John 4:9-10

“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

All throughout this season of Advent we have been talking about its virtues. We started out with hope. Advent is nothing if not an injection of hope into our lives. From there came peace. When hope comes into our heart, peace is going to be the result. Then followed joy. Hope and peace together will give us the confidence in our God to lay hold of that incorrigible contentment that makes up the foundation of real joy. But right at the heart of the season is another virtue. This one Paul identified as the greatest of them all. What is it? Love. This week, as we prepare to land with both feet on the day itself, we are going to be talking about love.

Read the rest…

Love Done Right

In this final part of our series, I Do, we talk about the secret sauce that makes marriage work. You will perhaps be completely unsurprised to find out it’s love. But, love only works if we know what it is and how to use it. As we wrap up the last few weeks of work, that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about. Keep reading to learn more.

Love Done Right

How many of you have seen the movie Michael with John Travolta? Leaving aside the terrible theology for a moment, the movie itself is great. John Travolta plays the archangel Michael who has come to earth apparently to have a great time, do a lot of sinning, and help William Hurt and Andie McDowell fall in love. Again, as I said, terrible theology. In any event, Hurt works for a tabloid magazine in New York and McDowell is a dog walker who convinces the magazine’s editor, Bob Hoskins, that she is an angel expert. The two are dispatched to Iowa where Michael is staying with an old woman in her hotel, in order to see if the reports they’ve heard about the angel living in Iowa are true. If they are, the pair are to convince him to come back to New York City with them for an interview. He refuses to fly (get it?) and instead insists that they drive across the country through rural America in order to get back to the big city. Along the way they have all kinds of misadventures including obscure tourist stops, bar fights, and great pie. About halfway through the movie, just before the group crosses the border into Illinois, Michael starts singing a pretty well-known song and encourages everybody else to join him.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 John 4:20

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

So, the first time we looked at this verse, we established the rather uncomfortable truth that we either love or hate the people around us. If we are not committed to intentionally moving them in the direction of Jesus, we hate them. It may not be an intense, emotional, passionate hatred the way we might normally think of when we hear the word, but throughout the Scriptures the word “hatred” often means to merely reject. Even without the emotion, if we reject the people whom God has accepted, we have a problem. What John says next makes all of this even more uncomfortable. 

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 John 4:20

“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (ESV – Read the chapter

Every now and then you come across a verse you’d rather just leave alone all things considered. If you could unread it somehow you might really consider doing that. Or, you could be convinced to make up something that isn’t totally true in order to fall generally in line with whatever it seems to be saying. This is one of those verses. 

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 John 1:6

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter

Sometimes you come across something in the Scriptures that, if you think about it very hard, can make you break out in a cold sweat. It doesn’t happen so often as to make you read with armor on, but you’ve still got to watch out for it. This is one of those places. 

Read the rest…