Pastor Yost Daily Briefing 5/18/2020

Pastor Yost Daily Briefing 5/18/2020

Greetings to all in the name of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus,


Quite possibly the most most important question asked in all of scripture is to be found in 1 John 3:17- "How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?" As Christians, this question should be on our minds as we come to address our faith as individuals and in our collection representation as the church.The question speaks directly to God's love for us, and subsequently our love for God and one another.


The writer of 1 John initiates this view of God's love for us through the gift of forgiveness in loving response to human sin which impacts and effects all of us: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1:8-9). The writer further clarifies this view by indicating that "Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (2:2). It is from this perspective of forgiveness, that we now have the light to properly "see" the truth to the way to return love to God by loving one another. 


1 John's message intricately connects the faith of the believer to that person's obedience to the command of Jesus to love one another as he himself loved. In 2:4 we read, "Whoever says, 'I have come to know him,' but does not obey his commands, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist." But in the encouragement and power received in and through God's love for us in Christ, we become able to live righteously; that is, we are able to move away from the sin of selfishness and live for others as Christ lives for us: "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are" (3:1).


The realization of our faith and the new life we have received in and through Christ Jesus is revealed in the actions of love. Again we read in 1 John 3:14, "We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death." 1 John's vision of love is directly related to the love shown by Jesus when he laid down his life freely for us, therefore, "we ought to lay down our lives for one another" (3;16). Certainly, we can appreciate the examples of this kind of love in the selfless determination of many front line healthcare workers in numerous medical facilities throughout the world. But for each of us, this same kind of love surely can be expressed in the care we show to our families, our neighbors, and our communities. 


Again, from 1 John 4:12, "If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us." And from 4:18, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear."


Sisters and Brothers in Christ, stay safe, be obedient in faith, and be of service to the Lord of Life,  Pastor John