Friday, October 25, 2013

1 John. .week 4. .Discussion

Well, here it is. .
the last discussion of the first month. .
I don’t know about you all. .
but I REALLY loved reading the book over and over again.
I am amazed that by the 25th time I’ve read it. .
new things continue to comfort me and stand out to me. .
depending on the day and my needs!!
This is how we learn. .
and many of the verses that I can remember today (though not memorized or able to flip directly to them). .
come from times like this. .
when Jesus speaks TO me THROUGH the written words on the pages!!
I have quoted things out of 1 John multiple different times this month when John’s words apply to Sunday school. .
or just in visiting with someone about spiritual things! The best thing, I think. .
is that those words will NOW come back to you when you need them. .
we’re hiding the word of God in our hearts. .
and that’s the best tool we have!!
So I thought that this little Life Lesson paragraph from Max Lucado’s study guide was appropriate for the last week. .
since it addresses the last verse of 1 John. .
listen. .
All kinds of things in this world clamor for our attention, affection, and allegiance. And here’s the bottom line truth: To whatever or whomever we allocate our best time, energy, and resources, THAT is what or whom we worship. John’s 1st epistle reminds us that God is the only one worthy of all that we are and have. Nothing matters more than knowing him, than cultivating a rich relationship with him that changes us and moves us to love and serve others. No wonder John counsels us to beware of getting sidetracked. Watch out for teaching that diminishes Christ’s glory. Look out for idols that get you to take your gaze off Jesus!
The books that I have read this summer nail that concept as well. .
and that is where God is leading me during this season of my life. 
So. .
our assignment this week was twofold. .
first things first. .
How has the book of 1 John changed my life. .
What has He shown me. .
ABOUT me. .
that needs to change to align myself to what His scripture says??  What am I doing about it? If I haven’t done anything yet. .
give us a specific plan for how you will be a DOER of the word rather than a HEARER only. .
My own life has been in a pattern of change for a couple years now. .
long story. .and some of the things that John spoke of, I have been working through. .
worldliness, and the sin patterns in my life that I mentioned last week. .t
he first step to change is RECOGNIZING what God sees as DISHONORING. .
and then the rest is a process. .
So. .the thing that God pressed on my heart from this chapter. .
was to make time for fellowshipping with other BELIEVERS.  
I have a busy family. .a busy work schedule. .and a busy extracurricular life. .
so taking time to fellowship with anyone that I didn’t give birth to. .wasn’t a priority.
 Last month I took a day and went with 3 friends in Christ (2 that I barely knew) and enjoyed a spiritual retreat for a day. .
This month, I did the same when we saw Beth Moore. .
It was refreshing for me. .and energized me a way that I hadn’t been for a long time!
Our Sunday night bible study discussion has been much the same. .
people. .with the same thoughts. .the same goals. .the same future. .
sitting around visiting about things that are ETERNAL. .
They give me the courage and support and strength to keep stepping forward in faith and obedience. .
So. .my goal. .is to continue this little 1 month trend of meeting with people on a social level. .
over lunch. .or a dinner out with godly girls. . 

The other thing that was brought to my mind last night as I read chapter 5:4. .
It’s easy to SAY I trust Christ to give me the victory against evil. .
but sometimes. .I just get DISCOURAGED!!
It’s been a frustrating 2 days in the health department. .
full of selfish, godless, world loving, me-pursuing people. .
no morals. .no values. .no light in them. .
and I want EVERYONE to know that Christ is available to them. .
I WANT them to understand. .
and I have been working this month. .
on remembering that God IS who God IS. .
He IS in control. .HE changes people and their hearts and their beliefs. .
Not me. .NEVER me. .It’s not my job. .
MY job is to abide. .In the only light there is. .the ONLY truth. .the ONLY way. .
I am learning how to abide. .and listen. .and obey. .
And. .some days. .that is just FLAT HARD!!
But it’s what He calls us to do. .And in His strength. .we CAN!! Amen and AMEN!!
2nd part is to answer one of the questions below. .
 Just so you know. .
I didn’t make these questions up. .
I mentioned earlier that I have a study guide to use with 1 John from Max Lucado that I intend to do some day. .
I swiped random questions from the guide to provoke some thought. .
they are geared toward different concepts that we read during the month. .
Keep reading 1 John through the weekend. .
and be looking Monday for our next book information!!

1.)     List some attitudes and actions that you consider “wordly”

2.)   Which of the promises in 1 John 2:12-14 are most promising to you and why?

3.)   The teachings attributed to Christ are widely regarded as being wise and helpful. .so does it really matter whether he actually lived (remember, the false teachers said he didn’t and some today believe he was only a good man)?? WHY?

4.)  What are some practical things that Christians can do to strengthen their fellowship with one another? Why would it be important?

5.)   What resources does John say God gave us to keep us from being led astray?

6.)   What are some specific protective measures you need to take to better prepare for the false teachers you are likely to encounter (remember that Revelation tells us that there will be a MAJOR false prophet coming with the Antichrist soon and will lead many people astray. .we should be ready too!)

7.)   How does the truth of “Christ in you” encourage you as you seek to live a life of obedience?

8.)   In Matthew 16:13-23 the apostle Peter makes one insightful, God-honoring statement, only to turn around and utter a devilishly inspired comment. What does this tell us about our need to be discerning?
Have a G-R-E-A-T weekend!!  Love ya all!! Melanie

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