We continue to study virtually and I want to encourage you to not let the ritual of your time with Christ slip. I suspect that many of us, this far into the quarantine, are finding out which way you might be trending. For some, you will find yourself leaning into routine and really thriving in your devotional and at-home church time. Others of you keep promising yourself you’ll do it tonight or tomorrow and are finding that the perfect moment never arrives.
Whichever way you lean, please take advantage of this time to have ritualized, yet sacred moments with the Lord. He will speak to you and minister to your soul!
One more quick note and then I’ll be done. One reason Jesse and I have chosen to “attend” the Facebook Watch Parties of the Sunday morning service, is because there is a joy in briefly connecting with others, knowing they’re being fed the same scripture, and taking the time to feel the unity that only the Holy Spirit can bring in situations like these.
I know this won’t work for everybody, but get creative and find ways to stay connected to your church family during all this craziness!
If you would like an editable version of this study shared with you, please text your email address to 541-786-5245.
I hope you are encouraged and blessed by your time in the Word and by the knowledge that others in your CC La Grande family are digging into the same scripture tonight. And like I said at the beginning, find someone else to share your study with if you can. “Where two or more are gathered…” I think that God is big enough to show up if we’re “gathered” via a phone conversation too. 😊
And now, if you would like to interface directly with others doing this Bible study on our website, you can sign up to be a member on our website and comment in the “Comments” section of our blog at https://www.cclagrande.com/blog.
* I used the NASB version for this Bible Study.
* Although this isn't necessarily a praise song, it's one that has greatly blessed me over the last few years.
With God in Truth and Love: Vs. 1-3
Who is the elder? ___________________________________________
Notice in vs. 1 that he loves them “in truth and not only I, but also all who know the truth.” What is binding about the truth? __________________________________________________________
What does it mean to love them in truth?______________________________________________________
Vs. 3 John mentions one extra virtue in addition the traditional Pauline Grace and Peace. What is it? ___________________________________
It seems no coincidence that the apostle that was closest to Jesus and also known as the Apostle of Love includes this extra attribute of mercy. What would the connection be between having that extra intimate knowledge of God’s love and the inclusion of mercy? __________________________________________________________
Postscript on that - John says “with US”. He is including himself in the equation. Unique and awesome!
Vs. 3 Notice John ends verse 3 with “in truth and love.” Does that change or add to the meaning of being with the grace, mercy and peace of God knowing that it is in truth and love? ______________________________________________________
Walking in Love: Vs. 4-6
Sometimes it can be confusing as to the right thing to do. Do I correct someone? Do I stay quiet? Do I help them or is it enabling? Ditch all those confusing questions. There may be a place for them later, but never skip to Step 5 of a problem before completing Step 1! What is it?
(Hint: It’s in verse 6)
It doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it does help us calm down and figure out the next step. And I will add, that we actually have no business skipping forward to offering someone accountability, counsel, tough love, etc. if we haven’t first started at that solid foundation of God’s love. It doesn’t mean it won’t be hard, but it does mean it will be right.
Deceivers: Vs. 7-11
Straight from walking in love to dealing with deception in false doctrine? Did John have a senior moment and switch topics on us? I don’t think so! This is part of walking in love.
There’s a reason John mentions repeatedly the theme of truth and love together. There is no power in love without truth. And there is only power if you have truth without love - which is just as tragic.
Vs. 7 What must be acknowledged in order for us to know that a teacher is NOT in the spirit of the Antichrist? ____________________________________________
Vs. 8 What have you noticed in yourself during this time of quarantine? Do you feel like your spiritual walk is going forwards or backwards (“Losing what you have accomplished”) __________________________________________________________
If you’re not liking how you answered this question, what will you do to change it? __________________________________________________________
The Joy of Fellowship
Vs. 12 John hopes to find full joy for the people he’s ministering to by speaking to them face to face. That hits a little close to home!
Who does the Spirit bring to mind when you think of getting to fellowship again face to face? ___________________________________________________________
As you lift them up in prayer, ask God how you can minister to them today to continue nourishing that relationship. Ideas? __________________________________________________________
Love and truth make such a beautiful combination! Notice that the only actual emotion mentioned in the chapter is joy, which is a nice emotion and a gift from God. But when it comes to living in truth and love, there is a path we are commanded to walk. I pray each of you find your next step in walking in these things today!
Have a blessed week!