2 John – October 27
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude (circling back to Corinthians in November), I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
1 The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.
4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.
12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.
Love Seasoned with Truth | Becky Newman
2 John 6
Walking in love is further explained in verse 9 as continuing in the teaching of Christ. My Bible notes that hospitality was a big deal for spreading Christianity, as it allowed traveling missionaries to teach about Jesus while their food and shelter were taken care of. However, then people started taking advantage of this hospitality, and kind Christians were receiving guests as missionaries who did not follow Jesus. John’s cautionary words here are that we are to love others mixed in with Truth that comes from God’s Word, not just let people who have no intention of following Jesus walk all over us.
The vision of walking where Jesus walks, following His footsteps to the throne of God, has been a comfort and constant re-focus for me the last few weeks. I want to show You love and this is how — obeying Your commands, abiding by the Truth that is in Your Word. But when it comes to loving others in Your Truth, I struggle — I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I definitely don’t want to push anyone over the edge. Part of my struggle is that I have lost best friends over this, and I haven’t been able to pinpoint why which means I can’t fix it next time. I could see me being one of these hospitable Christians and letting the spawn of Satan walk through my door and ransack my house while I ask if he would like some coffee and cookies with that. What’s just the right seasoning of Truth when it comes to loving others? Too much love and the Truth never gets through. Too much truth and self-righteousness shines rather than Your love.
Father, I admit I need help in this area. Several of my relationships right now want just Your love and not any of Your Truth. I ask for wisdom and discernment on just the right amount of love mixed with just the right amount of Truth, just like Jesus did every single time. I know I can’t fix other’s choices, but I can choose to follow You.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.