A Trilogy from Another Brother:
1 John 3:17 – 24
“But if anyone has the world’s goods sand sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”
Have to admit that I read this morning’s verses several times and came up with: “it says what it says”. So, what do you do when you have no other trains of thoughts…you go with movie themes.
Verse 17, Trading Places
I would like to think that if any of us saw someone in need, that we would respond in a generous way. How far would we go out of our way to help others? How far could we go out of our way to help others? There are so many aspects to both of these questions. If I spent all of my time helping others, how much would I have to share with them? Yet, there are some that their spiritual gifts are giving and are SO amazing at it. There are also some that thrive with what God has given to them and thrive at sharing with others. What this verse speaks against is having the means and doing nothing with it. Don’t go down that road: don’t be Louis Winthrop III toward the beginning of the movie…be Billy Ray Valentine toward the end of the movie. “Mortimer…we’re back in business!”
Verses 18-20, Forrest Gump
“I may not be a smart man, Jenny…but I know what love is.” Forrest was really good at walking the walk…once he learned to walk. He showed love to his mama, Jenny, Bubba…and little Forrest. He loved his momma through obedience…loved Jenny by never giving up on her…loved Bubba by going back in the thick for him (it’s like a snake jumped up and bit me)…and loved little Forrest by “fixing his breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day”…and putting him on the bus with Dorothy Harris. Forrest didn’t talk the love game…he flat out lived it…with passion! You could see the love for Lt. Dan in the excitement for his gain: “Lt. Dan, you got new legs!” May we be generous and genuine in our love for someone in our circle…or someone running from one coast to the other coast that we don’t know.
Verses 21-24, Pinocchio
In this verse, we need to let The Trinity be our Jiminy Cricket. I think we all believe in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus or we wouldn’t be reading this. These versus tell us to believe in the name of Jesus and that we can have a clear conscience in Him, with the Holy Spirit in us. Is there much more exciting and inspirational than verse 24: “Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, AND HE WITH THEM. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.”
Have a blessed Wednesday and please pray for all of the students and teachers starting another school year.