Friday, October 11, 2013

1 John. .Week 2. .Discussion

Hopefully everyone has been able to settle into a bit of a routine over the last two weeks. .This will be a guide for our week 2 discussion. .
 I have listed the discussion bullets to answer in purple. .
also. .
feel free to come back and address each other in the comments. .
if you have comments or questions for each other. .
that will make it feel a bit like a discussion. .

This past week. .
we were supposed to be reading through 1 John. .
with the intent to see who God tells us that He is. .
I also asked you to turn to Isaiah 40 and read through 12-31 for one of the BEST descriptions of who God says He is. .
I hope you had time to do that!!

At least for me. .
it is easy to get to reading word by word by word. .
and get so caught up in what’s being said. .
that I forgot that the WHOLE book resonates with the power of our Almighty God!!

So I think that making a point to study our bibles. .
PURPOSELY making a note of WHO God says HE is. .
will serve us well in the future!! 

 I came up with roughly 35 passages in the book of 1 John that I thought gave a picture of who God is. .
As part of our discussion to wrap up the week. .
Make a few notes as to what stuck out to you while looking for God in this book. .
attributes that surprised you. .
or that maybe you hadn’t really considered before. .
or something that maybe you knew. .
but it just stuck out to you as particularly comforting. .
I’ll start. .
I had about 3 verses that I just didn’t understand last week. .
and as I read through the NLT this week. .
it made sense of 3:20 for me. .
which then became one of the attributes of God that was really a reassuring reminder to me. .
the verse is “Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything". .
I think this verse could be double edged. .
though it seems to be saying that if we feel guilty for not being all that we wished we could have been. .
or do all the things that we WANTED to do for Christ. .
that God knows our hearts and knows that our motives were right. .
and that we did the best we could in our circumstances. .
He won’t forsake us. .
And THAT is encouraging. I also think though. .
that if we are doing our work for the wrong REASONS. .
or if we are grudgingly pursuing God or loving others because we HAVE to. .
that He STILL is greater than our feelings. .
and knows EVERYTHING. .
We should get a check on ourselves. .
and ask God to change our wrong motives and bad attitudes. .
so that we CAN stand before God in confidence as it goes on to say in verse 21.
The second verse that I love showing an attribute (or what I would classify as one) was 4:10. .
God loved US before we loved Him. .
and sent His Son to save us. .
God loved ME before I even knew He existed. .
and He mercifully opened my eyes. .
and my heart. .
so that I might also love Him!!
 I think in our selfish human mentality. .
things are always. .
All. About. ME. .
But this verse reminds me. .
that in all of God’s compassion and mercy. .
He knew me. .
and loved me. .
and understood that I could never make it by myself. .
and allowed me to be His child by sending His ONLY Son to clear MY name. .
and YOUR names!!

One of my eternal questions is. .
Why does He open some eyes. .
and allow others to stay closed. .
I hope to hear HIM answer that for me one day. .
but for now. .
I am undeniably THANKFUL that He chose me!
Hopefully everyone had the chance to read 1 John in a different version than they read the first week. .
at least once. .
Share which version you used. .
and any comments about that experience. .
I had used my English Standard the first week. .
This past week I went back to my beloved New Living Translation in a Chronological study bible. .
and my old standby bible with all my markings.
I also read it in the Message as well as New American Standard parallel. While I felt like I understood the ESV and NASB versions well. .
the NLT just gave a different dimension of understanding to my brain.
Take another few minutes to read through Job 38 this weekend. .
Try to recall what went through your mind as you read through Isaiah 40:12-31. .
were you amazed, surprised, humbled. .
as you read through those very powerful verses??
I’ll admit the first time I read Job 38 was during our mother’s bible study last fall. .
I remember being AWESTRUCK. .
that God had gone into such AMAZING detail through His prophet Job to tell us how HUGE He is!!
 I would encourage us ALL to remember these two areas in scripture. .
and the next time our life seems overwhelming. .
we should go back and read them again. .
God tells us that he measured the WATERS. .
in the HOLLOW of his hand. .
hold up your hand. .
cup it to hold water. .
and take a LONG HARD look at it. .
God held all the water in the world in His. .
If He could do that. .
I think He can take care of the silly little things that bog us down!!
And John reminds us. .
that we BELONG to this God who tells the sun where to hide until evening. .
And He will preserve US!
And that. .
is a wrap!! 
In closing, I added a segment out of a bible study on 1 John that I had purchased earlier in the year (but haven’t gone through yet) It was written by Max Lucado. I think that this is a reassuring statement that addresses our sinful natures and how stressful that can be for us. .
Enjoy! Looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and comments! 
We have to be careful how we interpret John’s words. If obedient living and love are the only “proof” that one’s faith is real, then what happens when I speak ill of a coworker or you act selfishly toward a family member? Does our sin reveal we weren’t true believers, but only “make-believers”? Does our failure mean we lose our salvation? No and no. Fellowship with God is both a fact and a process. Because of our faith in Christ’s perfect work, we have fellowship with God. But we also grow in our knowledge of him. We are transformed slowly, over time. Nobody obeys all the time. . or even half the time. Every Christian is guilty of failing to love. But thankfully God’s grace is greater than all our sins, and when we humbly acknowledge our wrongs, we find fresh forgiveness and restoration to fellowship.  Max Lucado. .life lessons from study of 1 John


  1. I'm having trouble posting... anyone else having issues??

  2. Part 1...

    1 John Discussion week 2 My thoughts….

    I read 1 John in the New King James Version and the Message this week. I like the Message but I think that there is so much that is missing, i.e. the strong words of command. There were passages in the New King that popped out but didn’t in the Message. I will continue to use the Message but not for my digging deep into the word mode.

    Attributes of God.. I don’t know if there was anything that was an “ah-ha” moment for me but one passage did give me cause to go searching for further study.

    1 John 4:17-19
    17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness (or confidence in other versions) in the day of judgment; because as He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. (Italics mine)

    On the Day of Judgment, when we stand before God, we can do so with the same boldness of Jesus. Wow… “because as He is so are we in this world”. That in no way says we are the same as Christ but because of what Christ did for me, us, we can go to God with confidence, boldness. Can you imagine… being able to stand before God with the confidence of Christ….

    1 John 3:21-23
    21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 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 5:14-15
    14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

    We can have confidence that when we are walking with God, according to His will and because we keep His commandments & do those things that are pleasing in His sight, He will hear us and He will answer our prayers… How often do I find myself praying for God to do something, to fix something, to protect, to help, to come to my rescue, to go to the rescue of my kids… all along, I’m not in the right place with Him to even expect Him to hear me let along answer me. God isn’t here to give me whatever I want/ask. There are prerequisites to the receiving what we ask for…

  3. Part 2....

    1 John 5:20
    20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. (2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him if we keep his commandments; v5…. By this we know that we are in him)

    We can KNOW that we KNOW… we can have understanding that we can KNOW Him who is true… we are IN HIM who is true… It’s so much easier to just be in the world, to take the easy way, be in the easy crowd, the be in the middle of the fun but then if I take that road there will be fear on the Day of Judgment. ouch. It’s not in the easy that we find peace even in the midst of heartache and trouble and evil. It’s not in the easy that we grow. I’m grateful that we can read scripture and find understanding and find HIM!

    Did anyone else notice how many times the term “keep His commandments” was used? In the NKJ, 7 times… must be pretty important.

    Now for Isaiah and Job… Oh my… who am I that the God of creation should love ME!
    In Job 38:22-30 where it talks about God knowing where he keeps the snow, hail, rain, ice and frost.. I love the last line “And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,
the mother of ice and frost?
You don’t for a minute imagine
 these marvels of weather just happen, do you?” Makes me think about all the tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc… do you find yourself wondering why God allowed it, I think we all do.

    I was outside doing “poopy patrol” today! With 4 dogs, large dogs, it can accumulated quickly :-{ and I don’t like the girls running through the yard… you get the picture. I started thinking about the Isaiah and Job passages and was in awe that God would think to make the dung beetle. How very creative of Him to make a bug (nasty as they are) to eat poop (nasty as it is)! He amazes me!!!