In an effort to help you prepare for the October 29, 2017, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the Epistle of 1st John. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Whom or What do You Love?”. The main Scripture for the day is 1 John 2:15-17. The other passages are either referenced in the message or provide additional insight for reflection.
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
Read and prayerfully reflect upon some or all of these Scriptures. Ask God to shape your life and your church’s life to match the heart of God:
Read or listen to 1John 2:15-17, John 6:39-40, Matthew 6:8-12, 21:31-32.
(You can read or listen to all of these passages in a variety of translations at Bible.is.)
From the Creeds and Confessions
Heidelberg Catechism Q4-5
Q4 What does God’s law require of us?
Christ teaches us this in summary in Matthew 22:37-40:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’1This is the greatest and first commandment.
“And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’2
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
The Love of God is greater far: Lyrics, Video
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Read and reflect on Randy Alcorn’s “What does it mean to ‘love not hte things of the world?’.
Reflect on these commands of Christ in the New Testament
What things do your eyes desire that are contrary to God’s desires for you?
What tings does your body crave (emotionally, physically, sexually…) that are contrary to God’s desires for you?
What things do you take great delight in that will not matter when you stand before God’s judgment seat?
Spend time confessing these things and ask God to replace these worldly things with the heavenly desires of righteousness, faith, love and peace.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself, to evaluate whether you love the world or the Father (adapted from A. W. Pink, Exposition of 1 John [Associated Authors and Publishers], p. 126):
- Which do you seek with more fervor: the wealth and honors of the world, or the riches of grace and the approval of God?
- Which have the greater attraction: the pleasures of the world, which are only for a season, or those pleasures at God’s right hand, which are for eternity?
- Wherein lies your confidence: in the money you have in your bank account or investments, or in the living and faithful God, who has promised to supply all your needs?
- Which causes the deeper sorrow: a temporal loss, or a break in your fellowship with God?
- Upon which do you get more joy: spending money for personal comforts and luxuries, or spending money to further the gospel?
- What most dominates your mind: thoughts and schemes after worldly advancements, or resolutions and efforts to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord?
The Sermon will be available online on October 22, 2017 at 12:30 pm.
Disclaimer: Reference to a particular article or website does not constitute endorsement or agreement with everything in that article or on that website.