Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recap on Ist John 1:5-2:2
     We need God's light in our lives if we want to become a better person and have loving, selfless relationships with others.

1st John 2:3-17.  Abiding in _________(fill in the blank)

     In this section, I'd like y'all to consider the word ABIDING.  Can we abide in something that is "not there"?

1.     1st John: 2:3-6  "A man is only as good as his words".  "Say what you want, but actions speak louder than words".  "Stop talking so I can hear what you are saying".  We hear these quotes a lot.  Can you honestly SAY that you try to live, walking the talk, in the will of God in your everyday living?  Have you ever stopped and honestly looked at yourself in the mirror the way others see you?  Who would you see?  Yourself, Christ, or something else?

2.     1st John 2: 7-11     'New' commandments and 'old' commandments.  Love and hate.  Light and darkness.  Lets suppose that the commandments John is referring to is love encompassing.  And lets suppose that the way we walk with our brother is a reflection of that love.  In verse 11, it sounds as if we cause someone to stumble (be it a brother, sister, or even your best friend), you really don't love them...even though you think you do.  Do you make them stumble on purpose? NO, of course not!  You don't realize it because you are living in darkness and are blind.  My question for this paragraph, how is it then, if we are 'blind', that we can become illuminated?

3.     1st John: 12-14     It appears John is writing to everyone of all ages.  When I read it the second time, I thought about the men of old (maybe even those of the old testament), those of the current church that he was writing to, and those of the future church.  Regardless, you are part of both the current and future church (that's the irony of being a teenager...we just don't know where to place you Emoji)  Anyways, when you have children, and if you continue the path you are on, what will they see in the reflection of your past?  Do you feel you are walking life in the direction that will bring life (light) to those after you?

4.     1st John: 15-17     Compare this section to Genesis 3:6.  Surely Eve was not hungry, and I would think the garden was a really pretty place to see.  And she had a good relationship with God, also.  But, she thought she was missing something.  This 'thing' that we are 'missing' will never be filled by the world.  In what ways do you feel the youth in our local body struggle with:
     A)  The lust of the flesh (wanting to please ourselves)
     B)  Lust of the eyes (wanting what we see)
     C)  Pride of life (being proud of what we are, have, etc)


  1. #1 One of the things I have realized with my walk with God is I'm important to him. But I don't always believe that I'm who people see me as or even who God sees me as. I expect more from myself. I realize too that though I feel a certain way about living for God doesn't mean I always follow through with that. I do realize how weak I can be because God is so awesome!
    #2 If we are blind the only way I know to come to the light is by God revealing to me through circumstances or others so my eyes can be opened. Even pursuing Him will reveal things to me.
    #3 I can only bring as much light to someone as I have been given. Each day God gives me something new and when God gives me new stuff I will be able to give in the future. For example, I don't talk a lot to people but every now and then God will put a person in front of me that He wants me to say something to. I met a lady just recently in a park who openly said she failed her children in being a single mom. I felt I was given the opportunity to encourage her to not condemn herself for being a bad mom. (The enemy had convinced her of that) So hopefully today she can live a little more in peace about her choices in life and not let the enemy keep condemning her for her lack. I'm learning as well to walk the talk and bring the light to others. I believe we are in a time that believers need to encourage each other to get closer in God. I do think there are certain people geared towards bringing more to the next generation because of their gifts.
    #4 I think it is all three. It is becoming more apparent that most kids these days want to experience life for themselves without the help of others. I feel there is wisdom in talking to the older generation because we can learn from their mistakes. I feel we haven't talked enough to the youth about our own weaknesses and mistakes so they can glean something. They have to see we are human.

  2. I think that lust and pride is fed by the type of people we are the closest to and the forms of entertainment we pursue. People who purposefully dress with less seem to be full of pride and do so to attract others lustful eyes. If a person wants to have fellowship with God, and it is human to be lustful and proud, why choose to associate with those who chose to dress and joke and have a lifestyle that distracts you? We need to be sensitive about the way we dress and talk and we also need to be aware of the type of people we call "best" friends.

  3. If we became more like Mennonites we will not have so many temptations with the lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh.

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  5. To abide in Christ. Hmmm... For me, I look at it as two different options I'm given at the start of every day. The tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? God wants me to eat out of the tree of life, but my natural state when I wake up is to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I have to ask God to be in my life today, to show Himself to me in my every day routine. If I go about my day eating from the wrong tree, I will judge people, and that will only bring them death. If I eat from the right tree, I will bring everyone around me life. To me, abiding in Christ is making that decision, to hunger for His life and seeking Him throughout my day. Just some of my thoughts... :)

  6. First of all, I want to say that I think this blog is great and I have learned a few things about myself in reading it. One thing that struck me was the thought that Eve was not hungry when she ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She already had everything she needed, including a great relationship with God! What was her motivation then? Probably the same motivation I have when I do things I know I shouldn't do, namely curiosity or a desire to know more than what I have been told. When I am told no, I want to know why I should not. Sometimes I can hear from a friend why not and it makes perfect sense and it satisfies me. Other times I have to see for myself, because I do not believe what I was told is true, or I want to see if it is really that bad!

    Most of the time, I find out that initially it doesn't seem that bad. It can actually be fun or very pleasurable. Then I find myself doing the worst thing that I could possibly do in this situation. Instead of telling someone and getting help, I find ways to justify myself. "Well, this is really fun, I can't believe it could be wrong," or "As long as it is not hurting anyone, it is probably fine" or "How can this be bad when it feels so good!" I am very good at rationalizing.

    But in truth, I do not live in a vacuum. Everything I do affects the people around me either for good or for bad. So even if I cannot see the harm in me, I may be harming my friends inadvertently. How is that being a friend to them? Am I really their friend when I succumb to temptation and then expect them to not tell anyone, or cover me? Is that how I am supposed to treat my friends? Do I really want to be friends with someone who puts me in those situations?

    That is why I am so glad I live where I do. My friends here really are friends and they are there for me through good times and bad. I hope they can depend on me too. And that is my hope for all of you reading this. Find someone you can trust to help you find God. Get close and stay close. Be brave and open up about those things inside that you struggle with. There is no condemnation in Christ. He has shown us great mercy in our struggles. Also be a safe place for your friends to open up to you too!

    I don't know if any of you go through the same struggles I do, but if you do, I hope this helps some.


  7. Wow. Thanks! It's hard to be a friend when you see your brother stumbling down the wrong road. Sometimes that road is the funner or "smarter" road. So, what do you do then if he doesn't want to listen? (I wonder if Cheres feels like that towards me often.)