11 comments on “Continue in Him

  1. Two thoughts:

    Remember the rich young ruler? Even though he was unable to sell all he had and give the money to the poor, Jesus “loved him.” Jesus knew how difficult it was to be human; Jesus probably also knew (before He even told him to) that the young ruler would be unable to give up all he had. Regardless, “Jesus loved him.” I daresay Jesus also forgave him on the spot. I may receive a lot of criticism for this but I believe we are not judged or condemned for our human frailties but for intentionally rejecting the efforts of God to draw us to Him, for fighting reconciliation and for denying His sovereignty and, much more, His existence. And even then, if we later repent, He forgives. This I believe. Sin, to my understanding, is separation from God…pure and simple.

    I doubt the writers of the Bible, and the Gospels in particular, wrote down their memories, thoughts, and insights with the idea that every nuance and inflection would be micro-analysed. I am not criticizing anyone who wishes to get it right, but I recall Jesus warning the Jewish leaders about choking on gnats. My concern is not with trying to get it right but with tying ourselves in knots with concern that we will miss something or get it wrong. Jesus came to make it simple, to lighten our load, to free us from worrying about getting the law exactly right. I don’t think Jesus intended for us to replace our crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s of the law with consternation over His Good News.

    I hope you know, Don, that I feel a great deal of connection with you and I am not intending to find fault with your writing. I just fear you are causing yourself too much concern.

    The other day, I was concerned about how to respond to a friend who was getting too ‘involved’ with me. Jesus told me very clearly, “Stop controlling. Trust. Let things happen…and enjoy life.” In response, I deleted the email I had been composing to my friend and let it go. The friend has since found fault with my position on homosexuals and has gone his own way.

    Jesus is so smart.

  2. Don, I truly worry (there I go, worrying) about Christians who obsess over issues like “sins of the flesh.” I’m not even sure I know what is and is not included in things ‘of the flesh.” But Jesus went to a great deal of trouble to forgive us of our sins, did He not? Why then, do Christians beat themselves up over being human? Of course, if they are hurting other people, yes, stop it and beg forgiveness. But taking care of yourself and your loved ones, as well as enjoying life, is not a sin.

    We have a fellow blogger, bless him, who states that if what we think, do, or be is not totally God-focused then it is Satan-focused. (I want to know what antacid he takes.). When I correspond with him, I am reminded of Br’er Wolf and the Tar Baby…it just gets worse and worse.

    All I can say at this point is a saying used frequently by my daughter, “Jesus…take the wheel.”

  3. Just “continue in Him.” I love it! What a profoundly simple truth you’ve brought out here. I see this passage “continuing” John’s theme on fellowship from chapter one: walking together in the light, as He is in the light, and while we’re on this trajectory, going from glory to glory, together, He purifies what’s broken in us from the inside-out. Of course, then, when He appears, we’re meeting an old Friend who’s been there all along with us, day in and day out…this is why there’s nothing to fear in love. 🙂

  4. John had this beautiful way of writing that reduced things to the basics.

    When I was in college and I had trouble understanding one of my textbooks, I would run to the bookstore and find a book on the same topic that focused on the basics. Then I could decipher the textbook my instructor wanted me to read.

    The Bible is the only book I know of that contains within itself books that are simple and straightforward and books that leave you gasping in confusion. Yet if we read the simple and straightforward forward books, we can make sense of the more complex books. And it is worth the effort to understand both.

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