This past Sunday (8/26/18) we explored 1 John 4 and the radical idea of coming to church on Sunday to love one another! Here’s a helpful prompt along those lines from Ed Welch:
And here is the prayer that I prayed over us during communion. I hope it prompts your own prayers to be more loving!
A Prayer of Edward Pusey (1800-1882)
Good Jesus, Fountain of Love,
Fill us with thy love.
Absorb us into thy love;
Compass us with thy love,
That we may see all things in the light of thy love,
Receive all things as the token of thy love,
Speak of all things in words breathing of thy love,
Win through thy love others for thy love,
Be kindled day by day with a new glow of thy love,
Until we be fitted to enter into thine everlasting love,
To adore thy love and love to adore thee, our God and all.
Even so come, O Lord Jesus.
1 John 4.19,
“To begin with, our own relationship with God takes the shape of a story…”
Dr. George Robinson, North Wake Elder and SEBTS Professor, writes to help us craft the telling of our own personal stories of faith and use these stories as a bridge to the gospel.
This past Sunday I mentioned this excellent article by Francis Schaeffer, “The Mark of the Christian.” It sets out the priority of loving one another as the distinguishing mark of followers of Jesus. Click on the link below to access the abridged form of this article:
As you study along with us in l John, here are some resources that you might find helpful:
If you want to buy a commentary, here are two that I have found helpful that aren’t too technical:
If you want a more technical commentary, this one by Karen Jobes has been helpful for me:
This online sermon series by John Piper is very insightful (and free!):
“Suffering is not a topic for discussion as much as it is a reality each person must face. Yet, we tend to do little to prepare our hearts for it.”
As Christians, how do we prepare for the suffering we will inevitability face in this life?
Sundrenched mornings, filled with days at the pool, barefoot picnics with neighbors in the backyard, and refreshing time with family – this is what the best summers are made of. Have you considered how to redeem these priceless moments for the kingdom?
John Stott reminds us, “Every Christian should be both conservative and radical; conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it.” As you bring your daydreams of the perfect summer to life, consider how you can preserve what God’s Word commands us to live out in a radical way in your neighborhood, on the summertime road trip and at the local park this summer. Imagine what God can do as you lead your family to live radically for Jesus!
Set Realistic Expectations
Trevin Wax reminds us that “seeking first the kingdom comes after we have been sought by the King. The root cause of worry is not misplaced priorities. It’s misplaced faith. It’s a failure to grasp the gospel of a God worthy of our trust.” Consider how you can trust God to order your summer activities so that they bring Him Glory and lead your kids and neighbors closer in a relationship with our Savior. Welcome impromptu invites to summer suppers and rejoice at cul-de-sac meet ups. The dishes can wait – eternity is at stake. A simple pile of sidewalk chalk and a driveway can provide the perfect template for sharing the gospel story.
Be Christ Centered
Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” We have been entrusted to train up our kids in God’s Word. Consider how doing simple things such as driving to grandma’s house can be an opportunity to model Christ to your kids. Will there be unbelieving family there? Pray for them on the trip. Each time you see a new city name pass by on the highway, challenge your kids to pray for the kids in that city! Grasp summertime moments as an invitation to point to the Savior.
Learning to love Jesus should be fun! There are countless ways to help the scriptures to come alive to your kids. Consider what your kids love. For our little one, he loves to sit next to me and watch me draw out the storyline of the Gospels. His eyes get wide as he watches my untrained hand draw two fish and five loaves of bread. He squeals with delight and says “again, mommy!” Find ways to help them love and treasure God’s word this summer in fun and unique ways. Sandcastles quickly beg for an epic tale – and what better epic tale could you share than truth adventures of our King Jesus?
18 short summers is all we get. Consider how you can use those 1674 summer filled days with your kids to win them and your neighbors to the Kingdom.