Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

640.   "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"
October 31, 2012
2 John-Part 3   (verses 7-11)
Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  2 John 8 KJV


Not all things are as they seem. This has become a philosophy, a saying, of mine. Something or someone may appear to be kind, loving, concerned, right, but in their heart they are not, or it is evil in disguise. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. They can turn on you to devour you. Turn on a dime is the saying. So I need to always be watching what I say and do, inspecting fruit, too. John is still warning us in this small book of only 13 verses.

Liberty Bible Commentary says:
John is giving us a warning in regard to false teachers. It should probably read "Watch out! That you do not lose what we have accomplished." It is the apostles who have preached and thus fulfilled the Commisssion and made great gain (salvation) possible for the believers; the apostles will not lose anything themselves, but the believers stand to lose all the blessings of Chrisitianity if they listen to the false teachers. It is the believers also who will receive the reward, which is not a reward for something done, but the gift of salvation by grace.
A false prophet may have pulled the wool over the lady's (church's) eyes.

John is giving us biblical guidelines for Christian hospitality in this letter:
  • its basis (1-3)
  • its behavior (4-6
  • its bounds (7-11)
  • its blessings (12-13) (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
Do I watch who I take under my roof and let sit at my table? Do I let anyone holding a black book into my house? If I do, then I am participating in his evil deeds, according to verse 11.

Love is the hinge on which hospitality turns to open its door. But just as a door has hinges, it also has a lock. And love never opens a locked door to a wolf-even if it is dressed in sheep's clothing.
(Swindoll's New Testament Postcards, a Bible Study Guide)


Deceivers are misleading, leading into error, a corrupter. (Thayer's Lexicon)

Satan comes as an angel of light (2Cor.11:13-15), believers musst be on guard against error by having an intimate acquaintance with the truth. Deceivers deny the deity and humanity of Christ. False religions, heresies, and cults deny the true nature of Jesus Christ. (MacArthur)

Deceivers are not faithful to the fundamental, sound doctrines of the faith, which shows they have never been born again.

Don't show hospitality or even greet these deceivers. If we help them spread their heresy, then we are sharing in their evil deeds.

Am I loyal to God and His Word alone?

Verse 9 uses the word transgresseth, proago in Greek, should be translated "Whoever goes too far and refuses to live by the teaching." The standard by which the false teachers are to be tested is called the "teaching."  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

On the other hand, if we do abaide in the doctrine of Christ, we have the Father and the Son. (verse 9)


Inspect the wool.

Let these wolves pass me by.

Know what I believe and believe the truth in the Bible.

Don't be hospitable to deceivers.

Lift up Jesus as Savior and the Word of God as Truth.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Brings You Joy?

639.  " What Brings You Joy?"
October 30, 2012
2 John-Part 2    (verses 4-6)
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
2 John 4-6 NIV


What brings me joy? Being with my children and grandchildren brings me joy. Talking with them, listening to them talk about their life, playing with the kids.It also gives me joy to see my children in church and serving the Lord. I wonder if my heavenly Father feels the same way. Does it bring Him joy when I ask for help, ask for things, want His will, ask for forgiveness, thank Him for all His provisions, stand in awe at the beauty of His creations?

How about you friend, what brings you joy?

Zephaniah 3:17 says, The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Verse 4 in the King James Version, begins, I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth...

I looked up the word rejoiced, which means to derive joy from one, in the Thayer's Lexicon.

I wonder, if someone came to my community looking for me, would what they found cause them to rejoice? Would I be rejoicing over members of my church or grumbling about them?
Better yet, if Jesus came looking for me, would He rejoice in what He found?
How is my walk of faith going? Where is it leading me?


Looking at our key verses, John is talking to a church, the chosen lady, and her members, her children. What gives John great joy? To see them walking in:
  •  truth (verse 4);
  •  love (verse 6);
  •  obedience to His commands (verse 6).
How am I walking? Walking refers to the state in which one is living or the virtue or vice to which he is given.

Is the state in which I live, not Arkansas, but the manner in which I live that of truth, love, and obedience to God and His Word?


Cling to truth and The Truth.

Stop walking around grumbling and love others.

Obey God's commands.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Road Maps

638.  "Road Maps"            October 29, 2012
2 John-Part 1    
The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.   2 John 1-3


A month ago, my granddaughter's schedule changed. She is now going to preschool three mornings a week and speech therapy two mornings. I drive her 30 miles on Tuesdays. The first time I took her, I held a road map with dirctions in my hand while I drove. There were so many rights and lefts that I didn't want to miss a one and get lost. I am happy to say, I drove right to the place, and with ten minutes to spare.
In John 14:6, he quoted Jesus saying, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to Father except through Me.
Jesus has taught us the way to live, the way to go, given us the road map for the Christian life. He gives the Holy Spirit to guide us step by step to do God's will. If I am listening, I will be driving right to and through God's will for my life. I certainly won't get lost or on the wrong road.

The apostle John is writing a second letter. He pastored a church in Ephesus many years, with the interruptions of being exiled to the island of Patmus, where John wrote Revelation. This was a time when false teachers and the beginning of Gnosticism threatened the church. Several commentaries agree that John is writing to a local church and her members to warn them of such deceivers. Probably, 2 John was written around A.D. 90-95.

MacArthur says that the theme of this letter is biblical guidelines for hospitality.

Falwell said the purpose for the letter was to warn believers not to give indiscriminate hospitality to strangers or traveling evangelist-teachers.  Those who did not meet the sure test of sound doctrine were to be refused hastily. Since inns in the first century were notoriously flea-infested, where could a Christian stay while traveling?

If the authorities intercepted this letter and they knew to whom it was written, it could have meant death for those people. David Guzik says that is why John does not identify the lady and her children.

John uses the term truth five times in the first four verses.
Thayer's Lexicon says truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of His purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and inventions of the Jews, and to corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians.
John uses truth 37 times in his writings in the New Testament.

Truth refers to the basics or fundamentals of the faith that John has discussed in 1 John (sound belief in Christ, obedience, love), as well as the truths expressed in 2 John. Truth is the necessary condition of unity and, as a result, the basis of hospitality. (MacArthur)

Can I truthfully say that truth refers to the gospel of Jesus Christ, His teachings and His Word?


If I am a real believer in Jesus, what will I be doing?
  •  I will love other believers because the indwelling truth, which is the Holy Spirit of Truth.
  •  I will be showing grace, mercy, and peace, which I receive from God the Father and Jesus, the Son of God.

Stay in God's Word for the road map of life.

Listen to the Holy Spirit as He leads my steps.

Obey Jesus' directions.

Keep the Truth ever before me.

* FYI-In 11 days I will be traveling on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic for a week of team teaching the Truth. Please pray for us while we are there and salvation of souls. So I probably will not be posting Nov. 12-16. If I take my laptop and there is internet service, I will update what is happening.

Friday, October 26, 2012


637.  " Water"             October 26, 2012
1 John Summary


What, no work shirts clean? But I had no water in which to wash them and besides, I was gone visiting at the hospital last night with you. When did I have time and water? (hubby was only kidding me)
When we got home from church Wednesday night, I turned on the kitchen faucet and discovered we had no water flowing, zilch, not a drop. I was not prepared for this. I figured it would have happened earlier, in the summer, when we had a month of no rain and over 100 degree temp. At least I had bought a case of water earlier in the day. The next morning, I went to our son's house for a shower and brought home 2 gallons. Laundry was all caught up. I wasn't reacting to the situation with anger. God will provide, I knew in my heart.
When we got back from the hospital visit Thursday night, the man who works on pumps and wells was there-a good sign. He and our son got me water, after an unexpected purchase of a new pump. He was kind to install it instead of going home after dark.
That man also said that we must have a river under us, for it was only 30-50 feet down to the water. What a blessing! Others have to go down 1,500 feet. Parrellel to my country road is a stream that never runs dry.
God is good, all the time! So the cows got water to drink after a dry day and I got to flush!

I know of another well, one that never runs dry because it flows from the throne of God-His stream of love, mercy, and grace.

Pardon me if that has nothing to do with a summary of 1 John. It was on my heart.


John pastored in Ephesus. He may have written these 3 letters from the Isle of Patmos, where he was exiled because of his faith in Jesus.

Remember the outline from Liberty Bible Commentary:
  • Walking in the light, in sin, with the advocate, under commandment, in love, with apostates.
  • Concerning believers-identifying them, living with them, warning them, loving them.
  • Assurance of victory, eternal life, and answered prayer.
When these 3 (sound faith, obedience, love) operate in concert together, they resulted in happiness, holiness, and assurance. They constitute the evidence, the litmus test, of a true Christian.
(MacArthur Bible Commentary)

How should  I be walking?
  • in joy (1:4)
  • in light (1:6)
  • in confession (1:9)
  • in truth (1:10)
  • keeping His Word (2:5)
  • in the love of God (2:5)
  • as Jesus walked (2:6)
  • loving my brethren (2:10,3:11)
  • not in the world, the flesh, lust, pride (2:16)
  • in the will of God (2:17)
  • as a son, child of God (3:1)
  • in hope (3:3)
  • in righteousness (3:10)
  • laying down my life for the brethren (3:16)
  • praying (3:22)
  • pleasing God (3:22)
  • abiding in the Spirit (3:24)
  • not in fear (4:18)
  • in victory (5:4)
  • in confidence (5:14)
  • with understanding (5:20)

Check my walk.

Continue to love others.

Live in victory with eternity in mind.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Pincher

636.  " My Pincher"        October 25, 2012
1 John 5-Part 6   (verses 18-21)
We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not. And we know we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. 1 John 5:18-21 KJV


Other moms gave their children the eye, but not I. When my son was a boy, talking in church instead of listening, I had a way of telling him to be quiet with just my touch. I called it my pincher, pronounced peencher. I didn't have to say a word, just pinch his shoulder. He got the message, sharp, loud and clear. When the pincher was touching him, I had control. He obeyed.

It is good to know that Satan can't touch, grasp, lay hold of, nor control my soul. God is protecting me. Toucheth means assail (which means attack).

The word suggests "to lay hold of" or "to grasp" in order to harm. Because the believer belongs to God, Satan must operate within God's sovereignty and cannot function beyond what God allows, as in the example of Job (2:5). While Satan may persecute, tempt, test, and accuse the believer, God protects His children and places definite limits on Satan's influence or power. (MacArthur)

People's New Testament says Satan can't lay hands on him, so as to hold him. (him is the Christian)

It means to lay hold of or grasp rather than a mere superficial touch. (Robertson)

Satan has nothing to fasten his deadly temptations on; nothing to grasp hold of because my soul is free in Jesus; his pincher can't pinch, so to speak, therefore he can't have my soul. He can only tempt me to sin.
Jesus is the one who holds my soul, who touches me.

What are some certainties a Christian has?
  • victory over sin and Satan (verse 18)
  • belonging to God (verse 19)
  • Christ being the true God (verse 20)
Sometimes I need God to use His pincher on me, so I stop doing what I'm doing wrong and obey Him.


What is the last thing John tells us in this letter?
Keep yourselves from idols.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary says:
John contrasts the term idol with "the true God" of verse 20. He has reference here to the false teachers who withdrew from the brotherhood with which they had been formerly associated (2:19). Their false beliefs and practices are the idos from which the readers are commanded to protect themselves. The false teachers upheld the world's philosophy as superior to God's revelation as demonstrated in their perversion of basic Christian teaching (faith, love, and obedience).
Idols refers to a false god; to guard one's self from all manner of fellowship with heathen worship.

Do I seperate myself from heathen worship? I used to participate in Halloween. Was that a heathen practice? It certainly isn't honoring God.


Allow God to touch me.

Turn from the ways of the world.

Watch out for false teachings.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Straying Cows

635.  "Straying Cows"                     October 24, 2012
1John 5-Part 5   (verses 16-17)
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.  1 John 5:16-17


Whenever the cows or calves break through the fence, we had to go get them. Sometimes it happens where they go next door at the neighbors, sometimes it happens on the back side of our farm and they stray into another's field, and sometimes it happens in my own yard. (They seem to like to graze in unforbidden territory.)  No matter where they got out, these straying ones had to be rounded up and brought back home, to their own fields. So it is with straying believers. When a brother or sister in the faith gets outside of the boundaries that God has established, they must be rounded up, brought back into the fences established in God's Word.

Since John has been talking about prayer, I assume the first thing I should do for the straying, wandering, back-sliding Christian living in sin is to pray for them. When I pray, I seek God's direction as to when and how to approach them. It may only be a "Missed you Sunday" as a hint or it may be a visit to discuss the seriousness of the situation. However God leads, I should pray for that stray and God's convicting them.

God disciplnes His children. (Heb. 12:6) I can pray for His mercy, interceeding for them. Sometimes the sins are not unto death, unintentional, accidental, light and trivial.
Do I have my spiritual eyes open to the needs of others?


John does say that there is a sin unto death. Of course, there are many opinions on this subject. Most of the commentaries say that it is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, not believing in God. The result is spiritual death, seperatioon from God for eternity.

God is the God of life; He gives it when and to whom He pleases, and takes it away either by His constitution or providence, or both, as He thinks meet. (Matthew Henry)

John tells us to not pray for this one. After all, God knows all things and can look into the heart.
Romans 6:23 says, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Concerning these verses, Liberty Bible Commentary has this to say:

Sin unto death would be rejection of God's truth to the point that one died in unbelief. Therefore, a living person need never fear that he has already committed the sin unto death, since he is still alive. Only total rejection and rebellion against God, and rebellion to God's laws, may cause one to sin unto death.
I am responsible for sharing the Gospel, not predetermining who will accept or reject it.

Romans 3:10 states, There is none righteous, no, not one.

Romans 3:23 ssays, For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 10:13 instructs us, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.

Friends, I must ask if you have confessed your sins to God, believed in Jesus' dying for you, and asked Him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart and be your Savior? If not, won't you stop right now and do so?


Confess my sins to the Lord and ask His forgiveness.

Pray for the straying.

Pray for the lost.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tire Alignments and Prayer

634.  "Tire Alignments and Prayer"                   
 October 23, 2012
1John 5-Part 5     (verses 14-15)
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoecver we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.  1 John 5:14-15 KJV


My husband and I bought a tire shop several years ago. One of the services we offer is alignments. I have learned that tires need to be in line with each other so they function at their best. Otherwise, if they are not aligned correctly, it will effect the way the automobile travels, the wear on the tires, as well as the gas mileage. I sure want my car running the best that it can. So it is spiritually speaking. Am I aligned with God's will?
God has appointed us to work with Him and that brings our will into alignment with His will. He wants us to care about the things He cares about, enough to pray passionately about them. (Guzik)

How can I have the certainty of answered prayer?
We Christians can know with absolute confidence that God answers prayer when we approach the throne of grace, according to Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Here's what I have learned concerning these our key verses:
  • God wants us to ask in prayer. He is a loving God and a generous giver.
  • We should pray about everything. (1 Thess. 5:17-18) God cares about our whole life. Nothing is too small or too big to pray about.
  • God wants us to ask according to His will. He wants us to see and discern His will through His Word and to pray His will into action.
  • When we ask according to God's will, praying His promises, we can know we have the petitions we have asked of Him.
  • If God's will is our will and we are abiding in faith, our prayers will be accepted.
  • To pray according to God's will is to pray in accord with what He would want, not what we would desire or insist that He do for us (John 14:13,14).
  • John specified that answered prayer also depends on obedience to God's commandments and avoidance of sin (3:21). Genuine believers know God's Word and practice those things that are pleasing to Him, they never insist on their own will, but supremely seek God's desire (Matt. 27:39-42). He asnswers so the Father may be glorified in the Son.
  • God always hears the prayers of His children (Ps. 34:15-17), but not always in the manner they are presented.
  • We have confidence with God at the throne of grace.
[Resources: The MacArthur Bible Commentary, David Guzik's Bible Commentary]


What am I to do so God answers my prayers?
Obey His commands, avoid sin, seek His will, then ask according to His will, not mine.
Ask.Seek. Knock. (Matt. 7:7-8)
Ask in faith, nothing wavering like the winds of the sea tossed. (James 1:6)
Ask in faith, believing, and with confidence, when it is in accordance with His will.
In everything give thanks, no matter the answer-yes,, no, wait.


My desires and will must be let go of and seek, ask, then do God's will.

Ask God to place His desires in my heart.

Thank my heavenly Father for His answer and give Him the glory.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Flat Biscuits

633.  "Flat Biscuits"                       October 22, 2012
1 John 5-Part 4     (verses 11-12)
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  1 John 5:11-12


Saturday morning, I wanted some hot, fluffy, biscuits for breakfast. So I opened up a can of storebought jumbo ones to bake. I got out the last jar of yummy, sweet, homemade blackberry jelly to put on the biscuit when it was done. My mouth was watering as I awaited the delicious taste. Okay, I suspected something was wrong whenever the can wouldn't pop open. Then the biscuits were wierd looking, with each layer coming apart, like they had gobs of shortening. (Four days were left on the expiration dated.) But I wanted a hot biscuit with jelly so much that I was hopeful that it would bake up all right. Fifteen minutes later, my expectations were shattered. They were as flat coming out of the oven as going into the oven. Yeah, flat biscuits. No, that was not my reaction. Did I throw them away? No, of course not. Instead of eating one fluffy, hot biscuit with sweet blackberry jelly, I ate three crispy, flat bottoms of a poor imitation of a biscuit with my sweet jelly. Worse of all, I forgot to give thanks for my breakfast. What a way to start a day! Thank You Lord for flat biscuits and Your teaching me life lessons. Sometimes life seems flat, unexciting, doesn't it? I know it shouldn't, since I have heaven as my journey's end.

How are my expectations of eternal life? Am I expecting heaven?

Record refers to a testimony; through the Holy Spirit, in the Christian's blessed consciousness of eternal life and of reconciliation with God, obtained by baptism and the expiatory(atonement) death of Christ. (Thayer's Lexicon)

Thayer's Lexicon has this to say about life: life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever.

What is God telling me through John?
  • God has given me eternal life. I can expect to spend eternity with Him. It's His gift to me.
  • Since I have His Son Jesus in my heart, I have life.
Am I showing that I am happy about going to heaven? Do I tell others? Is my life active and vigorous? Is it devoted to God? When I am blessed, do I share it with others? Am I showing others that my life is in Jesus?


Did you catch the last part of verse 12? He that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
It is plain, right there is black and white.

In John 14:6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

It's either Jesus or nothing; eternal life with Jesus or without Jesus; whole hog or zilch.

(My conclusion about the biscuits is that the baking powder was either not put in, or they were left out of refrigeration too long and it died.)


Thank God for eternal life in heaven.

Thank Jesus for enduring the cross so I could have eternal life and a way to the Father.

Live an active, vigorous life, devoted to God.

Loosen the chains of sin that bind me to this earth.

Friday, October 19, 2012


632.  "Witnesses"          October 19, 2012
1 John 5-Part 3     (verses 6-10)
And Jesus Christ was revealed as God's Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross-not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. so we have these three witnesses-the Spirit, the water, and the blood-and all three agree.  NLT 1 John 5:6-8


I have shared it before, that I served on a jury one time. They had witnesses which testified about the accused. The jury believed the young man broke the law, and sentenced him. I listened very carefully to the witnesses, even took notes. I wanted to make sure I understood the truth as it was told.  John was a witness that Jesus was real. Who else did John say was a witness? Shall we check it out?


You know I had to look up  witness in Thayer's Lexicon, which said:
Witness means to give testimony; through the expiation (atonement) wrought by the baptism and the death of Christ, and the Holy Spirit giving souls assurance of this expiation. Jesus was sent by God, is said thoughout the Scriptures. the Scriptures testify that.

The testimony of two or three witnesses establish the truth of a particular matter, according to Deut. 17:6.

The truth is, Jesus is deity. He is part of the Trinity-Father, Son, Holy Spirit. John writes to show that God has given testimony to the deity of Jesus through both His baptism and death.

Who is a witness of Jesus' Deity and Messiahship in heaven: the Father, the Word, the Holy Spirit.
What was a witness on earth: water at His baptism, blood on the cross, the Spirit. (Matt. 3:16-17)

The Father's testimony can count as three witnesses' testimony-His, Son, Holy Spirit.

(David Guzik gives us four views of what John means in these verses, but I won't go into them.)

The important thing is, do I agree in who Jesus is said to be? Yes indeed. Do you?


If I can receive the witness of men, apostles and Paul, shouldn't I accept the witness of God's Word, His Spirit, and His Son?(verse 9)

I, a believer, have the witness of the Holy Spirit within me. (verse 10)
Therefore, I can be a witness of Jesus Christ, also. Am I a witness? Do I share the Truth?


Keep a strong faith in Jesus Christ forever.

Share His love and Word, what He has done for me on the cross.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Cheering You On

631.  "I'm Cheering You On"                  October 18, 2012
1 John 5-Part 2    (verses 4-5)
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?   1 John 5:4-5


I was a cheerleader  my freshman year of high school. It was fun to cheer my football and basketball teams on to victory. We would encourage them no matter how things were going. We even encouraged our fans to encourage them. We wanted them to overcome any obstacle, opposing team, mistakes, injuries, and keep on keepin' on. It must have been effective because we cheered them on to victory as district champions in  football that year. My team was an overcomer. We cheereleaders were encouragers. And so it is in the spiritual realm. John tells us that we  can overcome the world. Shall we see how?

Overcometh (nikao in Greek), means to gain the victory. (Thayer's Lexicon)

John uses the word overcometh four times in these two verses. Its first occurrance gives the sense that the true believer is always victorious over the world. Victory is normal and natural, and that is why His commandments are not difficult. Our faith is the key to victory over the world. (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Three characteristics of an overcomer are:
  1. Faith-believes in God and Jesus is the Son of God;
  2. Love-has love for both God and fellow believers; proof of faith is love;
  3. Obedience-proof of love for God is obeying Him.
[Resource: The MacArthur Bible Commentary]

Faith denotes a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God. (Thayer's Lexicon)

This faith, saving faith, is what makes us true children of God, which in turn assures us of victory over the world. (Falwell)

Faith is the cause of victory, the means, the instrument, the spiritual armor by which we overcome.
We must all, after Christ's example, overcome the world, or it will overcome us to our ruin.  (Matthew Henry)

Am I encouraging others to be overcomers? Do I help their faith grow? Will I share my overcomings to encourage them? Am I a spiritual cheerleader? You go, girl. You can overcome through Jesus.


What do we believers in Jesus overcome? The world is what we overcome, conquer, have superiority over, have conquering power over because we get it from Jesus, the omnipotent God.

Satan's world wide system of deception and wickedness is the world. (emphasis mine) Through Christ and His provision of salvation, the believer is a victor over the invisible system of demonic and human evil that Satan operates to capture people's souls for hell. Faith in Jesus Christ and dedication of one's life to Him make a person an overcomer. (The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

Am I the overcomer that Jesus wants me to be? How strong is my faith?
How about you, friends?


Turn away from the world and turn to Jesus.

Seek Jesus' strength so I can overcome temptations and worldliness.

Be victorious! Be an overcomer!

Keep the faith.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


630.  "Burdens"                   October 17, 2012
1John 5-Part 1
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.  1 John 5:1-3  KJV 


Last March, my husband and I flew to Puerto Rico for a business trip. I decided to take my laptop so I could continue writing for this Bible study while there. Also, I didn't want to get behind in my other  studies of the Bible. I thought I was being wise when I put the laptop inside a backpack to carry it instead of a rolling carry-on. Boy, was that a wrong decision. We had to walk a long way in the Chicago airport for our connecting flight. This precious instrument quickly became a heavy burden for me to carry. When my wonderful husband, who thought it was needless that I take the computer, offered to carry it, I gladly let him. I learned a valuable lesson that day.
I said all of that to show that things can be a burden, of which John is speaking.

In verse 3, grievous (barys in Greek), means burdensome, according to Thayer's Lexicon, and causeing mental or physical pain, according to Webster's Dictionary. 

What is it that John says is not grievious? God's commandments.
They are not difficult  to fulfill because we are truly "born of God" and have therefore easy victory.
(Liberty Bible Commentary)

Are God's commands burdensome for me to keep?

Just as my husband carried my burden of the heavy laptop, Jesus carries or is the fulfillment of God's Commandments. (Matt. 5:17)


How can I know a person is a Christian?
  • They believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the annointed of God.(verse 1)
  • They are born of God, not just an intellectual knowledge, but a spiritual New Birth. (verse 1)
  • They received Jesus as Savior, trusted in Him for the remissions of their sins, which have been confessed.
  • They love God as His child in return for His love and those who are His children. (verses 1-2)
  • They keep God's commandments. (verse 3)
  • They love other believers. (1 John 4:21)
If we say we love God, yet walk in a lifestyle of conscius disobedience, we are like the believer who says they walk in fellowship with God, yet walks in darkness-they are lying. (1 John 1:6)

Looking at those qualities listed above, can others confirm that I am a Christian?  Do I show and tell those things?


Love God, love Jesus; love Jesus, love God.

Love God's Commandments.

Love other believers.

Obey God's Word.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I am a Liar

629.  "I am a Liar"      October 16, 2012
1 John 4-Part 8    (verses 19-21)
We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.   1 John 4:19-21


Who loved first, God or man? It's like asking, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" The answer is "the chicken" because it was created along with the other animals. The egg was produced later from the hen.

John tells us that God first loved us. That is why we love Him.

Here are some things I found out about God's love for us:
  • He loved us before the worlds were created, when our only existence was in the mind and heart of God, Jesus loved us. (Guzik) (Eph. 1:4)
  • He loved us when we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)
  • All human love is preceded and generated by the love of God. (Vincent's Word Studies)
  • He loved us so much that He sent His only son to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sin. (1 John 4:10)
  • His love is everlasting. (Jer. 31:3)
Why do we love God?
We love God because He loved us first,
We love God from a sense of obligation and gratitude.
We love God from the influence of His own love, from His love shed abaaroad in our hearts, our love to HIm proceeds. (Clarke)

Jesus loves you and me.
Jesus chose us to be His children.
Jesus redeemed us with His blood.
Jesus has called us to His salvation.
Jesus has pardoned us from our sins.
Yes, Jesus loves me.


Show me that you love me. Don't just say it. Words are cheep, easy to come by. Prove that you love me. Haven't we thought or said those words?

Looking at our key verses, what is the evidence that I love God? It is that I love my brothers and sisters in Christ.

If I don't love others, then I am a liar. I can't truthfully say that I love God, whom I haven't seen and not love others, whom I see.  If I truly love God, then His love is going to flow through me and I will love others. OK, there are times when people are extremely hard to love, I will admit. There are times that I am extremely hard to love, too. But I can't ask God to forgive me and not forgive another. I can't say one thing and do another. I can't love God and hate my sister or brother. It makes me a liar, a hypocrite. I don't want to be that. I admit that I have been a liar because I have not loved some people while I say I love God.

Am I hard to love?


Thank God for His loving me.

Love other believers.

Let God handle others.

Do You Fear Judgment Day?

628.  "Do You Fear Judgment Day?"
October 15, 2012
1 John 4-Part 7  (verses 17-18)
Herein is our love made perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:17-18


Don't we all have fears of something? I fear snakes, deep water, storms. How about you? However, there is no reason for me to fear the day I stand before my Maker. I am clothed in the blood of Jesus, wearing His robe of righteousness. Therefore, I do not fear that day.
Let's look at these two verses talking about fear and love, shall we?

Falwell in Liberty Bible Commentary says, "The original does not say, our love, but "love with us." It is because God is love, and because He lives in us, that love can be truly accomplished with us. God is love, so in a sense, we are love (we are all the world will ever see of love). The whole point is that We love... because He first loved us.  (verse 19)

Perfect, in verse 17, means accomplish, finish, breing to an end; one has been made perfect in love, his love lacks nothing.
Boldness refers to free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, assurance before the judge.
(Thayer's Lexicon)

The only way we can have boldness in the  Day of Judgment is to receive, and walk in, the transforming love of God today. (Guzik)

The love with us is perfectly perfect, completely complete.(Guzik)
Therefore, we can have assurance in the now and in the future when we stand on the Day of Judgment before God, our Judge. How is this possible? It is His love shown when Jesus died on the cross for me a sinner.

As He is, so are we. How is Jesus now? He is glorified, justified, forever righteous and bold, sitting at the right hand of God the Father. Spiritually, we can have that same standing now, while we are in the world, because as He is, so are we in the world. (Guzik)

 I am justified and righteous due to Jesus' blood sacrifice for me. He saved me from my sins. His spirit lives within me. His love presides in my heart. How can I but love Him?

Are people of the world seeing God's love in me and experiencing it through me?


Looking at some of the words and their meanings in verse 18:
Fear means  dread, terror; love refers to affection, good-will, benevolence; perfect means it is brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness; torment means corrected, punishment, penalty.  (Thayer's Lexicon)

What did I learn about fear and love?
  • There is no fear, dread, nor terror in God's love.
  • Perfect love casts out fear. Both love and fear cannot reside in the same place at the same time.
  • Fear concerns punishment, as unbelieving sinners and demons will experience one day.
  • This fear is not made perfect in love. Those who don't have Jesus as Savior, fear Him, understandably so, and are not made complete in His love.
So there are those who have God's love and no fear because heaven is our eternal destiny. Then there are those who don't have God's love and fear, at least should fear now, their eternal destiny, seperation from the love of God forever.

Am I sharing God's love and salvation with others so they do not need to fear the future?
Have you been made perfect, complete in His love? How about family and friends?


Thank You Father for Your love.

Thank You that I don't have fear of my eternal destiny and standing before You.

Help me to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Invisible Faith

627.  "Invisible Faith"                           October 12, 2012
1 John 4-Part 6   (verses 12-16)
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 
1John 4:15  KJV


I have heard the old cliche' that "seeing is believing." I consider it a falsehood. It doesn't take belief or faith when I can see something. I can't see you, but I believe you are there, reading this, and you do exist. There is evidence that is so by my counter of readers. So if I get discouraged, thinking I am alone, I just check the counter. Faith is required when something is not visible. I can't see God, but I have faith that He is real and exists. I can call it invisible faith.

What is John telling believers that we know about God, who is invisible?
  • No one has seen God.(verse 12) He is a Spirit.  
  • He dwells in us, if we love one another. (verse 12b) The love of God makes us obligated to love one another, for this is the only way we can show that we really have love.
  • His love is perfected in us. (verse 12c) Perfected means to complete (perfect), add what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full. (Thayer's Lexicon)
  • He dwells in us. (verse 13)
  • He has given us His Spirit. (verse 13b) Given (didomi in Greek) used here is different from that used in 3:24, showing the certainty of the fact that the apostles rather than the false teachers are moved by the spirit of God, and are united in their testimony about Christ. (Liberty Bible Commentary)
  • The apostles saw Jesus and testify that God sent Hin to be the Savior of the world. (verse 14)

Verses 15-16 in NIV say, If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

The King James Translation uses the verbs confess and dwell; known and believed.

I have noticed that in just four chapters, John keeps repeating dwell. It is found in 3:17,24: 4:12,13,15,16. Dwell means to remain (meno in Greek). "Either God dwells or we dwell", as John puts it.

How do I know God is near? He dwells in me. But I can't see God. His Holy Spirit speaks to me.
He speaks to me through His Word.

His children are appointed as the visible recipients of our outward kindness which flows from love to Himself, "whom not having seen, we love."  ( Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary)

We see God through the evidence of love. The Father has no tangible body which may be seen. He took on the form of man when He appeared as Jesus.

The greatest evidence of God's presence and work is love. Where God is present and working, there will be love.

We must agree with God who Jesus is. We find out what God says about Jesus through the Word of God. We may know something without being in agreement (confess) with it; God demands our true agreement.


I confess that Jesus is God's Son, my Savior, my Redeemer.

Although I do not see God, I believe He is.

The Holy Spirit dwells in me and fills me with love, as evidence of His existence.

I want to show others that God is real, alive, and exists by showing them His love through me.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


626.  "Whooooo?"              October 11, 2012
1 John 4-Part 5  (verses 9-11)
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10


It was still dark outside when I got up this morning. I love the early mornings-no noisy trucks on the nearby highway, no cars going by the house, taking the neighbor children to school, no train whistle usually, only silence in the dark, cool, fall early morning. This morning, as I was on the computer, I heard something outside. The silence was broken. It was an owl in a tree in my yard,obvioiusly. In the dark he was saying his "whooooooo, whoooooo." So as I hear the "who" being asked of me, and I think, "Who do I serve today, my Savior or myself?" Who do I love most? To whom do I listen? Who do I want to please? I get on my knees and surrender to my Lord Jesus. I should have done that first thing, before starting my day. It should not have required a verbal "who" asked of me. I am glad that He sent that owl to me.
So I ask of you, dear friend, "who?"

Sometimes I need reminded just how much God loves me. How about you? God showed me his love when He sent His only begotten Son into the world. Why would He do such a thing? Why send a perfect person to live among sinners, evil, ungrateful people? (We are no different than Biblical times people.) Much less to die for them?

John says the answer is because God loves us and wants us to live through Him. In order for us sinful humans to have eternal life, the Father sent into the world His greatest gift, the one of a kind, unique Christ. He chose us to be His child, before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).

John always uses only begotten of Christ to picture His unique relationship to the Father, His preexistence, and His distinctness from creation. Over half of the NT's uses of this term are by John.

Jesus was sent to be the propitiation for our sins. Propitiation refers to the means of appeasing, of Christ. (Thayer's Lexicon)
The sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross satisfied the demands of God's holiness for the punishment of sin (Rom. 1:18, 2 Cor. 5:21, Eph.2:3). So Jesus propitiated or satisfied God. Christ became our Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies, where the high priest splattered the blood of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. (The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

That is love!


We didn't love God in the beginning. We haven't always loved God. We were of this world and served this world.

Verse 11 says Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

The love of God to us makes us obligated to love one another, for this is the only way we can show that we really have love. Claiming to love God is meaningless without showing love to each other.

Whoooo do I love? To whom do I show love? When I hear an owl, I will ask myself those questions.


Love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Forgive others and love them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


625.  "Different"            October 10, 2012
1 John 4-Part 4   (verses 7-8)
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.   1 John 4:7-8  KJV


Different means unalike, not the same, according to Webster's Dictionary.

How was I different as a child? It was obvious that my physical characteristics were different-short, skinny, dark hair. My personality was quiet and shy. I had to study hard to make A's and B's in school. Sometimes it is okay to be different, though. I really didn't have any problems accepting it.
Different. John shows us how a Christian is to be different from an unbeliever, a false teacher.

Here is what makes Christians different from the rest of the world:
  • We love one another. This is the only way we can show that we really have love. Do I make it a habitual practice to love others?
  • Born again people love others. We receive God's nature, which is love. We are a reflection of His love.
  • We know God. We feel His everlasting love as we experience His forgiveness.
  • God is love. 
Love is a gift of His grace, a fruit of His spirit. (Gill)

All true love has its origin in God. Real love shows that we have His Spirit and that we belong to HIm. It makes us more and more like God. (Barnes' Notes on the Bible)


He that loves not does not know God.
Hatred, envy, wrath, malice, all have their source in something else than God. He neither originates them, commends them, nor approves of them. People can have a natural affection for others, family, and a hound dog. (Barnes' Notes on the Bible)

Romans 5:8 says But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus is our only hope.


Learn to let go of the worldly and its trinkets and let God love others through me.

Dare to be different-return love to the unlovely.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Those People

624.  "Those People"               October 9, 2012
1 John 4-Part 3      (verses 5-6)
Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world's viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.  1 John 4:5-6 NLT


Look at those people. What are those people doing? Just listen to those people. Why are those people here? I can't stand those people. I may not have said it, but I have thought it. Those may not have been a group of people either, but one person. How do I react to them? Is it with compassion, love, humility, a heart of service? Or is it with jealousy, envy, strife, bitterness, resentfulness?
Perhaps I am one of those people to someone. How would I want them to treat me? I used to be one of those people which John is speaking of, an unbeliever in Jesus. Now I am one of those labeled as a believer in Jesus Christ. John contrasts the two groups of those.

What does John say about those who know and are of God, a believer?
  • They hear us(apostles) because they know God. We willingly accept and listen to what the apostles in God's Word are saying.
  • They cling to Jesus, who said, "I am the Truth." (John 14:6)
  • They recognize that the Redeemer's kingdom is not of this world.
  • They have and know the Spirit of Truth and proclaim the truth.
  • They are not of this world, so the world does not know them. (1John 3:1) 
I want to be one of those people, don't you?


I contrast to the believers, John is speaking about the unbelievers of Jesus, the Antichrist's group, the Gnostics of his day.
What does John say about those people?
  • They speak from the viewpoint of the world. The influence of the world is evident in their speech.
  • Their conversatin, feelings, opinions are of this world.
  • The world hears them. They are rich, proud, ambitious, sensual.
  • The world doesn't reject them because they are friends with the world.
  • They have the spirit of error, falsehood, deception.
  • They are wholly influenced by the world.
[References: Barnes' Notes on the Bible; Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary;Guzik's Bible Commentary; Jameison, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary]

I don't want to be like those people.


Turn from the world's ways and turn to Jesus.

Act like a follower of Jesus, one of those.

Don't be one of those who don't beleive in Jesus and follow the world.

Make sure there is an obvious distinction as to to which group I am included.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Greater Than

623.  "Greater Than"                 October 8, 2012
1 John 4-Part 2    (verses 4)
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  1 John 4:4 KJV


HSNU>dnwld     Can you read that equation using our key verse?

When I was in high school, I loved my algebra classes. One of the terms we used was "greater than" which stood for the sign ">". (Perhaps I should say, > stood for greater than.) It meant that a number/numeral or the unknown (letter) was more than another. I always liked the challenge of solving for the unknown.
As a Christian, there is something in me that is > something that is in the world. What is it? The Holy Spirit in me is greater than the demons/devil. Now can you read the equation? Modern texting may help.

Now you can read HSNU>dnwld can't you? (The Holy Spirit that is in you is greater than demons or the devil that is in the world.)

John didn't want this to be unknown to his readers. He is still warning believers about those false teachers.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary says:
Those that have experienced the New Birth have a built-in check against false teaching.The  Holy Spirit leads into sound doctrine for genuine Christians, evidencing that salvation has actually occurred. True believers have nothing to fear, for even Satan's hosts with their perversions can't take them out of the Lord's hands. Here, as in 2:18-27, protectin againsst error or victory over it are guaranteed by sound doctrine and the indwelling Holy Spirit who illumines the mind.
I like that equation, don't you?

John is telling us:
  1. We are God's child, His little children.
  2. We have overcome the false teachers and the devil.
  3. the Holy Spirit that is in me is greater than the devil and all his demons in the world.
Now that is encouraging to know.


Did you notice John used the word overcome?

Overcome, nikao in Greek, means to gain the victory. It is used of one who by Christian constancy and courage keeps himself unharmed and spotless from his adversary's devices, solicitations, assults: the devil, false teachers.

Romans 12:21 says Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

So whenever I get mad at someone, I am to do good to them, say good things to them, instead of bad, returning evil for evil. Then I am not being overcome with evil. Victory can be had, instead of sinning. It takes my being controlled by the Holy Spirit and not my flesh. (You know I am talking to me.)

I like that song that goes: Greater is He that is in me, greater is He that is in me, greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

Watch out for the roaring lion that is seeking whom he may devour. Let others know and be prepared when they hear a roar, recognize a temptation. I think I will teach that chorus to my grandchildren. I should sing it more often. Why? Because HSNU>dnwld.

(And you  thought  you couldn't do algebra? You just did!)


Remember, greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

Overcome evil with good.

Listen for that lion and be prepared with Scripture, my weapon.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Fake or Genuine

622.  " Fake or Genuine"              October 5, 2012
1 John 4-Part 1    (verses 1-3)
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus is come in the flesh is of God.  1John 4:2


While on a mission trip to Brazil, my husband bought a genuine leather billfold. It has lasted him eleven years, which proves how genuine it is. Other materials, such as fake leather, do not last that long, especially in the back pocket of a man. It seems to me that nowadays there are few things which are genuine. We look for genuine leather purses, diamond rings, silver platters, gold necklaces, but do we look for teachers who are genuinely from God? How can we know if a teacher or preacher is genuine or fake? John helps us answer that question.

(Genuine means not counterfeit, authentic, real, according to Webster's Dictionary.)

 Who is truly a Christian teacher? The teacher who has the Word of God, who confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. They follow the Spirit of Truth and proclaim the truth.
The readers, who truly know God, will recognize and willingly accept the word of the apostles for what it really is, the Word of God (1 Thess. 2:13). (Falwell)

A true teacher acknowledges and proclaims that Jesus is God incarnate in human flesh to the earth. His human body was physically real. Both the full humanity and full deity of Jesus must be equally maintained by the teacher who is to be considered genuinely of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit testifies to the true nature of the Son. God's Word is the only absolute and trustworthy standard. (MacArthur)


I always say, "Not all things are as they appear." People  may say one thing and do another. They may actually be a wolf in sheep's clothing. So how do we know which is which?
John tells us, in verse 1, to believe not every spirit and to test the spirits.

The word spirit, in Thayer's Lexicon, ascribes to God, God's power and agency, manifest in the course of affairs, and by its influence upon souls productive in the theocratic body (the church) of all the higher spiritual gifts and blessings. In the New Testament, it is called the Holy Spirit, full of majesty, adorable, utterly opposed to all impurity; pneuma in the Greek. (Other Greek words for spirit are neshamah, meansing breath, and ruach, meaning wind.)

John tells us to do two things:
1. Believe not every spirit. False prophets and teachers claimed to have spiritual leading from God,
    but in reality, it was/is from the devil.
2. Try the spirits. Try means to test, examine, prove, scrutinize, to see whether a thing be genuine or
    not, as metals; try men. Liberty Bible Commentary says try (dokimazo in Greek) means to check
    out by a pattern or standard that never changes; the standard intended is the Word of God.

If a spirit, a person, false prophet, teaches a false doctrine, gives a false message.

A false prophet does  not believe Jesus was God, nor do they believe Jesus was a real man. Both diety and humanity of Jesus are essential to our salvation. The Antichrist opposes the true Jesus and offers a substitute Jesus. (Guzik)

John reminds his readers that behind human teachers who propagate false doctrine and error are demons inspired by Satan. Human false prophets and teachers are the physical expressions of demonic, spiritual sources (Matt. 7:15, Mark 13:22).  (MacArthur)


Check out teachers and preachers to see if they are genuinely teaching the Truth, God's Word.

Study the Bible so I will recognize false teachings.

Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment.

Teach the Truth.

*I do believe Jesus is God and He came in the flesh as a man, lived a perfect life, was a perfect sacrifice for our sins, yours and mine, showed grace and mercy by dying in our place.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


621.  "Knitting"                October 4, 2012
1 John 3-Part 10      (verse 24)
And he that keepth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.  1 John 3:24

Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.  NIV

Those who obey God's commandments remain in fellowship with Him, and He with them. And we know He lives in us because the Spirit He gave us lives in us.  NLT


Our first child was born in the month of November. While I awaited her birth, I decided to knit my younger five brother and sister in laws scarves for Christmas. I found directions on how to knit and pearl, bought the knitting needles and yarn, then worked diligently on the project. It was quite an easy thing to do, and fun to watch the yarn being knitted together into something useful. The two needles are used, maneuvered, intertwining the yarn around them, to accomplish a good thing. The Holy Spirit is in me to accomplish something good, too. When I read the definition of abideth and dwelleth, I thought of my knitting forty years ago.

The words abideth and dwelleth in this verse use the same Greek word, meno, which means to stay, not depart, not to leave, to continue to be present. The Thayer's Lexicon also said: Christians are to be rooted as it were in Him, knit to Him by the Spirit they have received from Him. Hence, one is said to abide in Christ or in God, and coversely Christ or God is said to abide in one.

Those who are abiding in Jesus know they are abiding in Jesus, because of the presence and assurance of the Holy Spirit. You can't be abiding in Jesus and not know it; though you may be attacked with doubt from time to time.  (Guzik)

Believing, loving, and obeying are the major evidences of true salvation. A benefit of love is the abiding presence and empowering of the Holy Spirit.  (MacArthur)

When I became a Christian, the Holy Spirit came to dwell in me at that moment. Another person doesn't give His Spirit to me, since I already have Him in me. I know He lives in me.

Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me, control me, use me for God's glory? It will be evident as the fruit of the Spirit are produced in my life (Gal. 5:22-23).


What am I to do? John tells me to keep God's commandments.

John 14:15 NIV says, If you love Me (Jesus), you will obey what I command.
John 14:25 NIV says, Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

His will for us involves trusting in Him, loving one another, and in general, living the Christian life, and enjoying the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Falwell)

It is an all day thing, to be surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sin tries to creep into my heart and mind, to keep me from obeying His commands and commandments. I battle the old sin nature just as you do, friends. I still have to slame the door on bad thoughts.

If I confess my sins, God is faithful to forgive me and to cleanse me of all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to to knit Himself with my spirit?


Slam the door on those sinful thoughts, words, actions and ask the Holy Spirit to rule my heart.

Be knit together with the Holy Spirit of God.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Little Prayers

620.  "Little Prayers"                October 3, 2012
1 John 3-Part 9    (verses 22-23)
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1 John 3:22-23 KJV


It is a joyful time when God answers my prayers. Of course, those the major ones, such as salvation for my family, finding His Will, but I am talking about answered minor prayers, such as helping me find something. I am always misplacing things and asking my All-knowing Father to help me find it. He must have a sense of humor and giggle when I pray, "It's me again Lord. Will You help me find this?" He is so very faithful in the little things and big things. Is there such a thing as a little thing in God's eyes? Maybe not. Maybe there are no little or big prayers, either. Maybe there are no little things that I ask for.

So how can I ask with confidence that God will answer one specific prayer?
Our previous lesson taught that if I don't feel guilty, I can come to God with bold confidence. (verse 21 NLT) If my conscience is clear, my sins are confessed and forgiven, He will hear me.

Next, to what does whatsoever refer? According to Webster's Dictionary, whatsoever can be either an adjective or a pronoun, of whatever nature or kind. defines it as meaning "anything." Synonyms are "any" and  "everything."

Receive means to get back, apart of a thing, according to Thayer's Lexicon.

If I substitute those words into this phrase, it would say:
Anything or everthing I ask, I will get.

So anything I ask, I will receive? Everything I ask, I will receive? Of course! The answer God will give me is either yes or no. It may not be exactly in the way or in the form which I asked, nor may I get it in my time, but in God's way and God's time.

The key to answered prayer is being in such close fellowship with God that we ask for things that are on His heart; we take up His agenda with our requests and intercession. The spirit of true prayer is Thy will be done, not My will be done-we turn to prayer to call into action what God desires; even knowing that some of the things God desires will directly and personally benefit me.(Guzik)

That makes sense to me. If anything I ask is in accordance to God's will, I will get it-a yes answer.
If my heart is in tune to God's heart, then I will only want what He wants, not what I want. If I believe, not ask for my own selfish lust, in accordance to God's will, then I will get what I asked.

Here are some other Scriptures pertaining to this topic-1John 5:14; Matthew 7:7,21:22; John 9:31; James 4:3.


What is John ssays that are prerequisites to my receiving a prayer answered?

  • I keep God's commandments. (doing righteousness)
  • I do those things that are pleasing in God's sight. (I want to do God's will.)
  • I believe on the name of Jesus Christ. (saved)
  • I love other believers.
  • Believe, love, obey, which are the major evidences of true salvation.
Keeping God's commandments is not meritorious ground of our being heard, but that it furnishes evidence that we are His children and He hears His children. God is pleased with those who by obedience and submission do His will. We have no hope that He will hear us unless we do so live to please HIm. (Barnes' Notes)

We receive of HIm, for He delights to bless the humble, upright, sincere soul. (Clarke)

Am I doing those things which are pleasing in God's sight?
Do I really love other believers as myself?

Things to ponder and apply.


Your will,
Your way,
I pray.

Love God and others so much that I let go of my will.

Monday, October 1, 2012


619.  "Confidence"                  October 2, 2012
1 John 3-Part 8  (verse 21
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.  1 John 3:21 KJV


We had not seen each other all summer long, yet we sat quietly in the same seat on the school bus, not saying a word. It was the first day of school and we were best friends in elementary. Why didn't I say something? I was very shy and quiet, and lacked confidence.
John tells me that I can have confidence toward God. Want to see how? Read on dear one.

Our key verse uses the word confidence, which means free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance, according to Thayer's Lexicon.
Webster's Dictionary defines confidence as a firm trust, reliance; self-assurance, boldness; an assured state of mind; a state of trust and intimacy.

How can I have confidence, courage, boldness toward God? It is because my heart does not condemn me. I have confessed my sins and asked God to forgive me. I have His love in my heart as a believer in Jesus. I can look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus with joyous confidence, as Falwell put it.

Love banishes self-condemnation. When a Christian recognizes in his life the manifestation of love in deeds and actions, it results in confidence about his relationship with God. (MacArthur)

If our conscience condemns us in known sin, or the neglect of known duty,God does so too.  (Matthew Henry)

NLT says: Dear friends if we don't feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence.

I can't agree with that translation because sometimes we try to justify how we act, think, or speak, thus doing away with our guilt. There may be sin in ones heart resulting in what they do. In that case, we should not have the confidence to come to God for His answering our prayers.


How do I get what I ask for from God?
Verse 22 says:
  • I keep His commandments.
  • I do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
  • I have a clear conscious, confessed my sins.
  • I love other believers.
If I am not doing those things, then it is my fault that my prayers are not answered, I don't get what I ask for. I should look at my life and see how much I do to please myself and how much I do to please the Lord.


Stay 'fessed up.

Please the Lord Jesus.

Love others and God.

Strive to be obedient to His Commandments.

Wearing Two Different Colored Shoes

618.  "Wearing Two Different Colored Shoes"             
October 1, 2012
1 John 3-Part 7       (verses 20)
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 1 John 3:20 KJV


One Sunday morning, as I was practicing with the choir at church, I looked down in the light and saw that I had on two different colored shoes-one navy blue and the other black. I didn't have time to go home and change one, so I shared my delema with the choir, so they would have a good laugh. Seriously, there are times I wear two different faces, one of a Christian, the other of my sinful nature.
I learned today that there is something I can do about it. Want to know what it is?

John gives three benefits of love for the true Christian:
  1. The first benefit is the assurance of salvation since love in action is the test of Christian profession (John 13:34-35).
  2. The second benefit of love is answered prayer. Since love is the heart of obedience to the law, its presence in one's life evidences submission to God which He blesses by answered prayers. (Romans 13:8-10)
  3. The third benefit of love is the abiding presence and empowering of the Holy Spirit.
What are the evidences of true salvation? Believing, loving, and obeying are its true evidences.

[Reference: The MacArthur Bible Commentary]


Does my heart condemn me of my secret sins? What am I to do? Confess my sins to God and ask forgiveness.

Condemn means to accuse, according to Thayer's Lexicon.

Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything.
 (NLT verse 20)

I will have no peace, I am currently indulging in sin.  He is acquainted with the sins that trouble my conscience. He sees all my guilt. God even knows if I try to persuade myself that my acts aren't sinful, which are actually evil in His sight. (Barnes' Notes on the Bible)

God is greater than our heart, for He knows every hypocritical winding and turning of the soul. He searches and tries the reigns, and sees all the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of the heart which we can't see. He is the just Judge and He condemns us, strictly and extensively more than we can be by our own conscience. God is the maker of our heart; He has power over it, management of it; it is in His hands to be turned by Him as He pleases. He is the searcher and trier of it; a superior Judge of it. (Gill)

If we have a troubled conscience because we haven't kept the law of love, God is more than our heart. He knows all things, even our failure in duty.  (People's New Testament)

There is no hope of hiding my sin from God, who is an infinitely holier and impartial Judge. David reminds me that God's mercy endures forever in Psalm 136.
If  I will just confess my sins, God is faithful and just to forgive me of them and will cleanse me of all my unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) The key is my confessing, admitting, agreeing with God about my sins.

I tell you friends, I have been confessing throughout this lesson today. Not only do I need to pray for a change heart for myself, but for others and our church. Only God can do that.


Confess, confess, confess.

Does God approve of the manner in which I live?