I am so excited about digging into Anne Graham Lotz’s study “Into the Word” starting in January. Here is an excerpt from page 13 of the introduction that I hope will whet your appetite:
“If you are too bombarded by pressures, problems, or unwelcome news…
If your spirit is overwhelmed within you…
If you know you should spend time in God’s Word…
If you long to draw aside with Jesus for a time of intimate fellowship…
If you feel spiritually dry because you have allowed your work to come before your worship…
If you just need some help in studying your Bible…
Then this book has been designed for you.”
I hope you will join the discussion over on the 3dLessons4Life Blog Facebook Page. Sign up here and feel free to invite others to join us on this crazy adventure.
I tune in to the local Christian radio station every morning on my way into work. Music really helps me to stay focused on dark days when I struggle to see Him clearly. In my mind, I know that God is Love, and He calls me to love my neighbor as myself — but sometimes when life starts crashing in, my flesh just screams NO, NO, NO!
One campy song by Beckah Shae has echoed in my head all week —wooing me with its hip hop beats and message to #putyourloveglasseson. What lens am I using to look at others? Ouch! Another song that hit me on the same theme of love was “Headphones” by Britt Nicole. Sadly, love is often not “coming through my headphones” because I fail to slow down and tune in.
These two fun songs helped drive home the theme of John’s First Epistle, which I recently examined verse by verse with my Good Morning Girls Group. In Chapter 4, John develops several key ideas about love:
- v 7: God is love. Without Him, I cannot possibly love others.
- v 8: Lack of love for others is a sure sign of unbelief.
- vv 9, 19-21: Christ in us enables us to love others as God loves us.
- vv 10-11: Love requires a sacrificial response, a death to self.
- v 12: God’s love in us is perfected as we extend ourselves to others.
- v 17: Love gives us confidence.
- v 18 Fear and love cannot coexist.
The Greek word for love that John employs here is Agape. If I am going to “put my love glasses on” as John suggests, this will require me to
- esteem others and serve them faithfully
- find joy in meeting the needs of my neighbor
- refuse to neglect, disregard, or condemn “outsiders”
- express compassion and willingly share in a spirit of goodwill
Tuning in to what John had to say about love showed me several areas I need to work on if I hope to be found faithful to my Savior. How about you? What is coming through your headphones today? How do you tune in to God’s love?
I am so excited to announce that we will be working our way through Anne Graham Lotz’s 52-week study “Into the Word” on Mondays starting in January 2012. Would you pray about joining this adventure as we dig into God’s Word together? If you are interested, hop on over to our Facebook page here and sign up by saying “I’m in” under today’s status post about the study.