Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:10, 11.
After the ascension of Christ, John stands forth as a faithful, earnest laborer for the Master…. The love for Christ which glowed in his heart led him to put forth earnest, untiring labor for his fellow men, especially for his brethren in the Christian church.
Christ had bidden the first disciples love one another as He had loved them…. After the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the disciples went forth to proclaim a living Saviour, their one desire was the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another, they revealed the love that Christ had enjoined upon them….
But gradually a change came. The believers began to look for defects in others…. They lost sight of the Saviour and His love…. John, realizing that brotherly love was waning in the church, urged upon believers the constant need of this love…. It is not the opposition of the world that most endangers the church of Christ. It is the evil cherished in the hearts of believers that works their most grievous disaster and most surely retards the progress of God’s cause. There is no surer way of weakening spirituality than by cherishing envy, suspicion, faultfinding, and evil surmising. On the other hand, the strongest witness that God has sent His Son into the world is the existence of harmony and union among men of varied dispositions who form His church….
Unbelievers are watching to see if the faith of professed Christians is exerting a sanctifying influence upon their lives; and they are quick to discern the defects in character, the inconsistencies in action…. Christians are all members of one family, all children of the same heavenly Father, with the same blessed hope of immortality. Very close and tender should be the tie that binds them together…. “Let us not love in word,” the apostle writes, “but in deed and in truth.”
Conflict and Courage p. 357
—– I need prayer for work to keep my current full time job. Please pray for favor with Bonnie and the owners and to stop the gossip at work. Thanks Ann
—–Please pray for my friend, David. He has kidney issues and will be admitted coz he will possibly start dialysis but has other issues as well. His heart is not in the best condition. He wanted to be baptized but his health condition is preventing him. June
—– I admit I’ve been having trouble doing an update on Zach because it seemed so bleak (still seems bleak). They were to pull the plug last week but as mentioned before there were other considerations. This last Sunday, he started moving when music was played. Doctors say it’s natural reaction, and honestly, I don’t know. But I do know as long as there is life there is hope – so please continue to pray for Zach and the entire situation. Aaron
A couple of days ago, I was looking at some old emails that I just couldn’t delete. One was from my friend Kelly who had written letting me know that Darlene, our best friend, had passed away. I knew it was going to happen but felt the loss greatly.
During my life, I have had few friends around whom I could feel totally comfortable. Darlene was the closest friend I had ever had and I felt completely at ease with her. I could confide in her knowing that she would not tell anyone except her Saviour while she was praying for me. Indeed, I was not the only one who felt that way. She was always so full of love, care, and concern for others. How often I saw her put the needs of others before her own. The love of Jesus flowed out through her. Her home was always open to anyone who had a need. She was always ready to listen to a person’s problems and pray with them. She would write a request for them in her prayer journal and pray daily for them. When that prayer was answered, she would put a star beside the request. How many stars her journal contained! The rule of Darlene’s life was, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:16
Even though Darlene died of cancer over fifteen years ago, she is not forgotten. Truly it can be said of her, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.” Rev 14:13
Although I miss Darlene, I know that she is awaiting the call of the Life Giver “in the resurrection at the last day.” John 11:24 How precious is this hope Paul also speaks of: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28,29 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thes 4:16,17 “Behold, I show you a mystery, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Cor 15:51-55
May we “give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure” while there is still time. 2 Peter 1:10 <2 Cor 6:2> May we allow nothing to deter us from our goal. May we plan to meet Jesus, together with Darlene, when He comes in the clouds to take us to the home He has prepared for us as He has promised, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3