Hi everyone, it’s Mick and welcome to Wednesday’s Podcast. Our reading today is 2 John 1:7-13. This week’s theme is ‘Godly Purpose’ and we continue to consider today, as yesterday, two great foundations of our faith ‘truth and love’
Listen again to John in v6b from yesterday
As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love
Truth and Love II:
At the end of yesterday’s reading John says we are to ‘love one another’ (v.5) and then to ‘walk in love’ (v.6). I just love that phrase ‘walk in love’ that’s why it’s our focus verse today! As followers of Jesus, love should be the focus of our lives – we need to study it, discuss it with family, friends, church community and most importantly to experience it and then practice it! Every day we are to ‘walk in love’ (v6)
How do we ‘walk in love’? v5 tells us ‘we walk in obedience to his commands’ in other words we put into practice ‘the truth’ and simply do what Jesus calls us to do. What does Jesus call us to do? Love God and love others – prefer God and then prefer others – choose to follow God and choose to be a blessing to others. It really is that simple … it’s just hard to do sometimes! That’s why we need to hear God’s word every day, receive his Holy Spirit in our lives every day and be in community with friends who will encourage and challenge us on our journey through life. This is the reason we began these Podcasts at STC; Sunday church is great, indeed it’s vital but it’s not enough. Every day we need to hear God’s word and offer our worship and prayers if we are to live his Better Life.
Truth and love are not opposed to each other – they complement one another. Truth matters. I mentioned yesterday that ‘relative truth’ seems to be the norm in our world today; my truth may not be your truth. In fact there is only one absolute truth we are told and it’s that there is no absolute truth! It’s no wonder our young people are confused! As Christians we have to be clear – unpopular though it may be – there is absolute truth. This truth is found in a person, Jesus Christ. He said, ‘I am… the Truth’ (John 14:6). That’s why we need to listen to his truth, teach his truth and love his truth!
John says to his hearers then and now that there are many deceivers out there (v7) so we need to know the truth and not be deceived or we will drift away from our faith. Verse 10 sounds a bit harsh ‘If anyone shows up who doesn’t hold to this teaching, don’t invite him in and give him the run of the place. That would just give him a platform to perpetuate his evil ways, making you his partner’ (MSG). John’s passion for the truth comes from his love for the Christians he is writing too. He loves them and so stands against those who would lead them astray. That’s what true pastors do – if you’re part of the STC family know this day that you are loved by Tricia and I and all those on our staff team; we will always look to serve you in ‘truth and love’, to challenge you when necessary but always to encourage and inspire you to live this Better Life of Jesus!
Love and truth – the two great foundation of the Christian faith – foundations to build a life upon. Both found in the person of Jesus Christ. As we found yesterday, the key is to get the balance right – to much truth and to little love comes across hard and unforgiving; to much love and to little truth can appear as an anything goes faith with no substance. There are times in my life when I have not got this balance right – that’s why we need grace and forgiveness! But when we do get it right, it is so attractive to others seeing real callable people like you and me looking to live lives of compassion and purpose, of truth and love. That’s our aim at STC … bring it on Lord!
Lord Jesus, help me every day to live in that tension between love and truth – compassion and purpose. Not just in the big things but in the every day ordinary things of life. Bless me this day that I may be a blessing to others. Amen
BIBLE READING: 2 John 1:7-13 (NIV)
I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.
I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.