Read: 1 John 2:1-29
Centering Verse: Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world. (1 John 2:15)
- Take some time to meditate on verses 1 and 2. How has Jesus advocated for you?
- How can we combat hate? Who is someone you need to show love to and how will you do it?
- What worldly desires do you struggle with?
- What does abiding in God look like in your life and context?
As citizens of the Kingdom of God, we recognize that things in our world are not as God intended them to be. Some years ago, Elizabeth received a calling from God that has been a powerful witness to our family and I believe it is a calling for all Christians: “Go and be different.” We might wish we could change the way the world works and change the hearts of people whom we see living outside of God’s intentions. But if we were honest with ourselves, then we would admit that we need to be different as much (or more!) than they do (whoever they is). Really, the only person we can be responsible for – as far as their behavior goes – is our own self. Think about what God might be challenging you to be or do that is different – that would bring your own life or sphere of influence more in line with God’s purposes. Could you be kinder or more giving? Is there some attitude or practice you need to give up? Eventually all things will be gathered under the power of God for the purposes of God. This is the ultimate meaning of shalom. We can practice shalom now and prepare ourselves for an eternity of it, or we can remain in love with the ungodly aspects of our present age and risk missing out on the goodness of the Kingdom to come.
LORD God, who has set before us the ways of life, give us the courage and strength to live according to your purposes. May we invite others – in love and not judgment – to join us in living lives of divine purpose. Amen.