Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"If....Then" in 1 John

So, I saw this printed off and perched on the wall in the office at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at the University, and thought it was pretty cool.... so I am sharing with you! This is from thegospelcoalition.org and was posted by Justin Taylor. Hope this gets you thinking! These "If then" statements are something that we need to be evaluating our lives against so that we can be walking as Christ walked.
The Real Bowman

“If . . Then” in 1 John
Posted By Justin Taylor On March 31, 2011 
IF . . .THEN . . .
1:6we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darknesswe lie and do not practice the truth
1:7we walk in the light, as he is in the lightwe have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin
1:8we say we have no sinwe deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us
1:9we confess our sins,he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
1:10we say we have not sinnedwe make him a liar, and his word is not in us
2:1anyone does sinwe have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous
2:3we keep his commandmentsby this we know that we have come to know him
2:15anyone loves the worldthe love of the Father is not in him
2:19they had been of usthey would have continued with us
2:24what you heard from the beginning abides in youyou too will abide in the Son and in the Father
2:29you know that he is righteousyou may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
3:17anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against himhow does God’s love abide in him?
3:21our heart does not condemn uswe have confidence before God
4:11God so loved uswe also ought to love one another
4:12if we love one anotherGod abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
4:20anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brotherhe is a liar
5:9If we receive the testimony of menthe testimony of God is greater
5:14if we ask anything according to his willhe hears us
5:15if we know that he hears us in whatever we askwe know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
5:16If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to deathhe shall ask, and God will give him life
Justin Taylor: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor

Friday, April 8, 2011

Coffee Talk: Who is God to you?

"Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”   - Mark 8:27-29

-Who is God to us? Is he just a being that we mindlessly follow? Or do we personally know HIM, HIS purpose and HIS heart? When it boils down to it, it really doesn't matter what we have heard, what we have read about God, even what our church says. I'm not saying that we should be a part of a church that teaches heresy, BUT, what truly matters is our PERSONAL relationship with God- how he relates to us on a day to day basis. This is what it means to ABIDE IN CHRIST. If we abide in Him, and He in us, THAT is the man that bears much fruit. (John 15:5)

-In my scripture readings today I followed a lesson plan from Experiencing God, which I am currently going through with several dears brothers and sisters in Christ. While most of these lessons are fairly involved and require much reading and cross-referencing, today's lesson was refreshingly simple in its approach. Read the word and think about all the ways that God has revealed himself to me by it. This is something that we don't often do, but helps us to see God personally. How has He personally worked in us and what attributes of God have we been able to witness in our own lives?

-As I read various scriptures I was overwhelmed at all the names of God. In Hebrew a person's name was an identification of a person's character or nature. In Scripture the LORD referred to Himself in many, many ways - ALL of which are true to His character. Here are just a few of the verses that have personally stuck out to me in my walk with Christ. These are attributes of God that I hold dear to my heart and that I have personally experienced.

God as the Architect of my life - Hebrews 3:5 - "For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything."
- This encouraged me as a compliment to Colossians 1. Everything was created by God and for God so I can be free from worry. If I keep my eyes on Christ everything will hold together! Col. 1:17, Hebrews 12:1-2

God as the One who COMPLETELY forgives - Isaiah 43:25 - "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."
- The most unbelievably humbling realization I have come to is that of God's grace and forgiveness. Understanding that I don't deserve anything from HIM, yet He still chooses to forgive me and use me is overwhelming.

He who keeps me from falling - Jude 24-25 - "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."
-On Christ the solid rock I stand! All other ground is sinking sand! All other ground is sinking sand!

I AM WHO I AM - Exodus 3:14 
-"When God said "I AM WHO I AM", He was saying "I AM the Eternal One. I will be what I will be." He was saying, "I am everything you will ever need." (Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God)

My CONFIDENCE - Psalm 71:5 - "For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth."
-Identity as children of God and heirs to the Kingdom bring great Strength!

The Strength of my heart - Psalm 73:26 - "My flesh and my heart may fail, 
   but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." 

-As someone who has gone through MANY hardships and difficult physical problems I hold onto this verse. It is all about the HOPE I have in Christ. Even though I am overwhelmed physically by all that the world can throw at me, my spirit is being renewed day by day more and more into the likeness of Christ. 

The Mighty One who saves  - Zephaniah 3:17 - "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
-IMMANUEL, God With US, is in our midst! He is MIGHTY and saves! He REJOICES over us, we who are not worthy yet he has deemed worthy!
He quiets us by His love, like a Father who does not hold his children's sins against them. As NASB says, "He is quiet IN his love." He sings over us.
If that doesn't encourage you, I don't know what will!

I hope this has encouraged you! Please leave a comment below. How has God revealed Himself to you? What attributes of His have you personally experienced?

The Real Bowman