Thursday, April 18, 2019

1 John 4-5~ Day 108~ Are Mormons right?

So, I was talking with a new friend the other day.  When I asked her what her plans were for Easter, she responded, "I'm Mormon".  So, being the inquisitive person I am, I proceeded to ask, "Oh, do you not celebrate Easter then?".  "Of course we do!" she replied, "We are Christian after all!"

Well, instead of plying her with more questions, I decided to go home and figure out how they differ from Protestant denominations.  The one glaringly different doctrine they hold to is that they do not believe in the Holy Trinity.  They believe the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate entities.  Protestant denominations believe that the three persons make up one God.

Well, I got thinking about that as I was doing our reading today.  John speaks a lot about Jesus being the Son of God.  "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well." (5:1)  To be honest, reading that does sound like they are separate entities, not 3 in 1.

Well, this is when one must use scripture to interpret scripture!  If you were to base your whole theology on this one letter- you very well can go the Mormon route.  However, that would be discounting other scripture, including all the references John himself made, in his gospel account, to Jesus being God. (John 1:1, 1:18, 5:18, 8:58, 10:30, 10:33 & 17:21)

By the way, there is another key difference between Mormons and Protestants, Mormons don't believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. (There own website claims that: https://www.lds.org/topics/bible-inerrancy-of)

As for all Protestant denominations, they believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and therefore use all scripture to help interpret scripture.  So some key verses (but not all) that are used to demonstrate that Jesus is God are: obviously all those in John, 1 Cor. 8:6, Phil 2:5-6, Col. 2:9-10, Heb. 1:8 & Titus 2:13.

All that being said, I'm not going to go back to my friend  and say..."You're wrong!"  But, I can pray for her!  I pray that the Holy Spirit will grow her into a mature follower of Christ.  Also, I can ask her to read with me starting May 1st!!
"For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword..." (Heb. 4:12)
I don't have to do the work of educating her in truth, the Bible will do the work!
I just need to ask her if she wants to read with me!🤓

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

1 John 3~ Day 107~ Keep it simple

What did you get out of this chapter?
I would say that this chapter could be summed up as ~ Live What You Believe!

John is quite clear!  The command is this, "believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us." (3:23)   John uses this whole chapter to explain how "believe in" Jesus is demonstrated:
1. One doesn't keep sinning (3:6)
2. And love towards others in shown with action not words. (3:18)

It's obvious to see who are true believers when those two traits are displayed (3:19)  This isn't rocket science.  It's pretty simple to become a child of God. (3:1)  Yet, the world complicates it because they just don't get it! (3:2)
Keep it simple, sweetie!!💋K.I.S.S.




Tuesday, April 16, 2019

1 John 1-2~ Day 106~Notes from Son of Thunder

I have been accused of being black and white (as if it's a bad thing) but, I ain't got nothin' on John!!  My word he is laying it down in a black and white way, don't you think?!

  • "If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth." (1:6)
  • "Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." (2:6)
  • "Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them." (2:15)
I always thought that John was the lovey-dovey disciple.  He is the one that scholars think was the "one whom Jesus loved" ( John 13:23) and he talks about love a lot!  In fact, in his three letters he references love  25 times!  I think my mistake is that I picture one who is all about love, being gentle, mild and subdued.


But John is far from that! I have to remind myself that Jesus nicknamed him "Son of Thunder." (Mark 3:17)  Thunder is not gentle, mild or subdued!  It's powerful and loud!  So, I shouldn't be surprised that John is firm in his speech, black & white.  In fact, who says that firm, and black & white isn't loving?  On the contrary, it is very loving if one is using those traits to warn others and exhort them to "remain in him."( 2:27) "to continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming." (2:28)  That's true love for a fellow neighbor!



On a funny note, I thought of someone else who is black and white and very loving! heehee



Monday, April 15, 2019

2 Peter 2-3~ Day 105~ Keep sharpening your discerning skills!

Did anyone else get creeped out about the first line of chapter 2?

"But there were also false prophets among the people just as there will be false teachers among you." (2:1)

False teachers among us?!  That means that the church you or I go to can like a person, their charisma, their funny jokes and their "knowledge" of the Bible enough to put them in a teaching position....yet when they get going on the teaching, it will be false doctrine!
"They will secretly introduce destructive heresies" (vs.2)

How can this happen among us?!
I'll tell you:

  1.  People aren't reading the Bible themselves in order to decipher "fact" from "fiction". 
  2. I think 'secretly' means the teaching is sooooo close to the truth, yet it's off.  So, it slides in unknowingly and becomes truth in the congregations mind.

Peter was so spot on correct in his prediction!  It does happen and is happening in churches today!
And the result?  "It brings the way of truth into disrepute." (2:2)

I am so glad to be doing this reading plan!  When I am out and about and hear someone teach something that sounds super close to the truth, but off, I get an unsettled feeling.  "Wait, that sounds good, but not totally.  It doesn't match up to what I know of the Bible.  That can't be right!"

I hope you have experienced something similar as well, so that you feel confirmation that staying in the word daily is the best way to sharpen your discerning skills!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

2 Peter 1~ Day 104~ Keep reading!

What an easy day of reading, only one chapter!

So, I have been praying lately, as we are approaching the end of this reading plan, "Lord, do I do it again?  Do I start over and read the New Testament straight through, again? Or, do I stop the blog and get into something else, like a semester long Bible study on one book of the Bible?"

I've been waiting for an answer from Him and I think Peter spelled it out for me in today's reading.
"For if you possess these qualities (goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love), in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in you knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1:8)

I want to be effective and productive in my knowledge of my Lord!

Then I read, "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have." (1:12)

I felt like God was speaking directly to me!  "I want to keep reminding you of my words.  So keep reading.  Yes, you are firmly established in truth...but I have more for you to learn- and I want you to remind others as well!"

OK, God, I will keep going with the blog!  So....I will be starting again May 1st!

As for you, dear friends that are still reading with me, good job on getting through the 4 month reading plan!!  I hope you tell others about the reading and encourage them to join me next month!   

Saturday, April 13, 2019

1 Peter 4-5~ Day 103~ Jesus is coming!!

I love reading these letters, thinking about who was writing them.  We have been reading so many letters from Paul, so it's different, for me, reading a letter from Peter's view of the Good News.  I love his perspective!!

Peter was personally with Jesus for three years and watched Jesus ascend into heaven.  So, I love reading how often Peter refers to Jesus coming back!  Did you notice that?  This fact was the hope he lived by!! It should be our hope as well; what we live for!!

I found five different places in his letter where Peter referred to Jesus coming back.  Let me know if you saw one I missed:  1 Peter 1:5, 1:13, 4:7, 4:13 and 5:1-4.

However, I don't think Peter was looking to the sky thinking Jesus would return any moment so, "there is no need to get anything done".  On the contrary,  he was encouraging all the exiles scattered throughout the 5 provinces (listed in 1:1) to put their noses to the grindstone, so to speak!
  • Set your hope on the grace (1:13)
  • Be obedient to Jesus (1:2 & 22)
  • Grow up in your salvation (2:2)
  • Live a peaceful life while waiting (2:12)
  • Be prepared to give the reason for the hope that you have (3:15)
  • Use your gifts to serve others (4:10)
  • Endure hardship (4:12)
  • Continue to do good (4:19)
Those are not the words of someone who is "so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good".  Yet, Peter was heavenly minded and had a great balance that Christians should emulate.  Live like Jesus will come any minute and set your hope on that fact!!

Friday, April 12, 2019

1 Peter 1-3~ Day 102~ Drown out fear

Being honest here, I got a glazed look in my eyes as I skimmed past, "Wives in the same way (the same way Christ submitted to "him who judges justly" 2:23) submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." (3:1)
Oh, whew!  That doesn't apply to me!  My husband is a believer so, I don't need to worry about winning him over!
  😝Umm...no...that's not the right attitude!  Well, anyway, I kept skimming along in the reading (maybe with a slight glaze remaining) until I got to, "You are her (Sarah's) daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." (3:6)......Wait.....What?? Why did Peter bring up fear?  He hadn't mentioned it at all in the previous verses!  He says it so subtly, one could miss it!  But, I caught it and pondered.  It's actually quite profound!

Peter was married.  He was around his wife who, I'm sure was around other women.  Peter saw something in women that I have seen too.  Women have a lot of fears! I think it's in our genes.  That's what makes us such good mothers.  Our fears help us see potential accidents.  Because we are experts at seeing potential danger and avoiding it, we are able to (on the most part) keep our children alive until they reach adulthood.  HOWEVER, our "fear gene" has a way of getting the best of us.  We carry our fears into other areas of our lives.  We fear rejection, lack of love, lose of security.  I bet you can fill in the blank easily!  "I have a fear of______".

Peter nailed it when he said "do not give way to fear", but.....that is easier said than done!  Did he give us any idea how to do that?  I think he did....
Peter started off with saying, be "pure" (3:2) ~ oh yeah, the part I skimmed over....😁
The only way I can be pure is to accept what Jesus did on the cross, as having been done for me personally. Now here is the tricky part for a lot of women.  We believe that with our head, "God forgave me", but we don't believe it in our heart.  We carry around past guilts like a big purse we can't set down.  I have heard so many women still claim to be sinners, even after being saved!!  What? Why?  You have turned from that life, you have been born again!  LET IT GO!  If God has purified you....you are pure!! (Psalm 51:10, Matt 5:8, Acts 15:9, 1 Tim 1:5, Heb. 10:22, James 4:8, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:3)

With a pure heart, we are filled with God.  Guess what?...God is love.  "Perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18) Ahh,... When your heart is filled with God there is no room for fear.  Peter knew it was that simple!  That is why he simply said, "You are daughters of Sarah if you do what is right (be pure; be filled with God) and do not give way to fear."

How do you like my doddle I did while reading today? 😛