Friday, 4 August 2017
FOR MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT
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1 John 5:2-3

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

Verse 2 raises a profound concept: our relationship with others verifies our relationship with GOD.  It is a totally encapsulated idea about a love that encompasses everything.  If we love GOD, we obey Him and in obeying or loving Him, we love our brothers and sisters.  But there is a danger here—loving others doesn’t make us children of GOD; doing good works doesn’t save us—ONLY TRUSTING OR BELIEVING THAT JESUS IS THE MESSIAH SAVES US; and JESUS LIVING IN US ENABLES US TO TRULY LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  But think about the first three words of this passage: “By this we know”; this is another litmus test of who we are.

Verse 3 also brings us to a pleasant aspect of our relationship with GOD: our obeying Him and loving our brothers and sisters is not going to be unpleasant; it’s not going to be “burdensome.”  Think about this—how easy is life when everyone is getting along? 

In Matthew, chapter 11, JESUS extends an invitation to us:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Think about what He is telling us: there is rest in Him, rest and peace that will go all the way to the core of who we are.  What He is offering us is actually easy and the burden that we think He is placing on us--is no burden at all.  CLEAR SAILING.

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Posted on 08/04/2017 9:51 AM by LarryG
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Thursday, 3 August 2017
LOVING ONE ANOTHER—THE EVIDENCE FOR THE PRESENCE OF GOD
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1 John 4:12

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

(following taken from DAVID GUZIK COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE, Studylight.org)

…If we love one another, God abides in us: This is the greatest evidence of God's presence and work among us - love. Since no one has seen God at any time, this provides evidence for the presence of God.

Some people think the greatest evidence of God's presence or work is power. Some people think the greatest evidence of God's presence or work is popularity. Some people think the greatest evidence of God's presence or work is passionate feelings. But the greatest evidence of God's presence and work is love. Where God is present and working, there will be love….

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Posted on 08/03/2017 9:46 AM by LarryG
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Wednesday, 2 August 2017
GOD’S KIND OF LOVE
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1 John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.   He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

(following taken from DAVID GUZIK COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE, Studylight.org)

Love describes the character and heart of God. He is so rich in love and compassion, that it can be used to describe His very being…..

….Great problems come when we try to say love is God. This is because love does not define everything in the character of God, and because when most people use the term love, they are not thinking of true love, the God-kind of love.   Instead, they are thinking of a squishy, namby-pamby, have-a-nice-day kind of love that values being "nice" more than wanting what is really best for the other person.

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Posted on 08/02/2017 9:43 AM by LarryG
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Tuesday, 1 August 2017
FOR HIS GREAT NAME’S SAKE
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1 Samuel 12:20-24

20 And Samuel said to the people, "Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

The context of this passage is that Saul has just been anointed as king of Israel.  GOD has told Samuel that He considers this desire to be ruled by a human king, as a rejection of Him; Israel is doing an “evil” thing; and they will bear the consequences of their request.  But think about the first line of this passage: even though the people have rejected GOD, He has not rejected them.  Samuel tells the people to not be afraid to follow the LORD; GOD’s hand is still stretched out to His people.  The prophet tells the people to not turn to empty things, i.e. kings, idols, wealth, etc., which have never delivered or helped them in the past.  Samuel reminds the people a second time, that even though they have forsaken Him, GOD will not forsake them; He chose them and that choice is irrevocable; He’s committed to them to the end.  Now why is GOD permanently faithful and committed to His people?  The answer is provided – “for His great name’s sake”—that’s how He is—that is His nature.   GOD is faithful; He is compassionate; He is merciful; He is just—THAT’S HIS NATURE AND IT IS UNCHANGING.  So when He makes a promise, we can take that to the bank; it’s a done-deal.  Samuel reminds the people one more time—remember and consider “what great things He (GOD) had done for you”.

…NOW I RAISE MY EBENEZER

SELAH

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Posted on 08/01/2017 9:40 AM by LarryG
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