Category Archives: Truth

Behold!

I John 3:1 Behold, what love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the sons of God! For this reason, this world does not know you: because it does not know Him.  2 Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God. But what we shall be is yet to be revealed. And we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him. For we shall see Him as He is. RGT [Revised Geneva Translationa]

You may remember a simple chorus sung as a round based on these specific words of I John 3:1.  You may still mentally hear the music.  If it’s unfamiliar take a minute to listen here.  It’s a very basic two-sentence structure that repeats and overlaps as each side sings their part to complete the Word to the other.  

Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us,
Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us,
That we should be called the sons of God,
That we should be called the sons of God.

Reading those words triggered the memory of the music that goes with them. The testimony of truth is when music and the Word are combined, the two halves of the human brain are uniquely engaged in a lasting way.  Behold!  Reading Words on a page has the power to stimulate the music of our memory and remind our heart that the Father has given His love is to His children [of any age] for this purpose: our hope “that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him. For we shall see Him as He is.”

aThe Geneva Bible is specifically designed to be SPOKEN and HEARD, repeatedly, and is built on the premise that a crucial key to revival in the present can be found in one simple practice from the past—speaking God’s Word back to each other in community.

He is Risen Indeed!

Christ is Risen!  Lent has reached it’s apex.  Thanks to Pastor Carl Franzon for sharing this meaningiful writing from Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE. It’s the ultimate revelation of the truth of Easter.  We have a Savior who will not remain buried even by the whims of our humanity and the reality of a broken world. 

“Wherever we bury Jesus, he comes back to life. We can bury him in the Bible or in stained glass windows. We can bury him in creeds and formulas and the heritage of our own tradition. We can bury him in movies and plays and music. We can bury him in our past. We can even bury him in bread and wine. And each time from each place he rises from the dead. He sheds the words and images and walks right on out into the world.”

Matthew 28:6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. [NIV]  

A Gift Hidden in Brokeness

This idea came up Sunday morning in our adult class: the challenge for Christians is to find the perfect balance between grace and judgment in our lives and in our behavior toward others.

When it comes to the choice between grace and judgment, we’re broken.   We swing to the grace side grateful for the recognition of God at work in ourselves and others and then the next moment we’re slammed into that “other” less desirable side – judging ourselves sometimes, but mostly others, harshly.  We long to find that balance.  We long to be like Jesus, triumphant in both his grace and his judgment but instead we get caught in that pendulum of frustration at our own brokenness.    That led me to ponder what it takes to be like Jesus and what “triumphant” really looks like.  I don’t have a Scripture text today but…

This is what triumphant looks like
Grace…†…Judgment

Jesus was triumphant over death on a cross!  He is the only way we’ll ever begin to understand the perfect balance between grace and judgement.  Our responses will look different seeing them through THAT triumphant Jesus; the one who became a gift hidden in brokenness for us.

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

Before and After

I John 5:6-10a & 11-12a NASB
6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself…11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life…

Ponderings:
“The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself…”. The Spirit, the water and the blood have been, and are still, testifying in your life. It’s easy to recognize that testimony after you’ve been adopted into God’s family. But what about those years before? Those three were not just standing in the wings hoping you might come to your senses. They were there testifying to you about the reality of Christ.

I was baptized when I was about 12. There was some huddled whispering among relatives at that time that was mysterious to me. Some of the mystery became clear shortly after my baptism when I learned the only Dad I’d ever known wasn’t my birth father at all but the process for adoption had been put in motion. The name I had been baptized with wasn’t actually my new name…yet. That process took years but I came home one day to find my Dad with papers in hand weeping because I was finally his daughter.

It doesn’t make a bit of difference what the human details were. The participants might not have been perfect or even particularly religious. The Lord in his mercy, saw that young girl and was testifying to her about another adoption that would take another 15 or 16 years: this time by a heavenly Dad.

Like me, you were not adopted into God’s family because he’d waited long enough…or by the skin of your teeth…or your wise choices. Long before that adoption became a reality there was a process in motion: testimony was happening.  Don’t overlook it. That recognition can be one of the strengths in your life. Think back and see for yourself how faithful God has been to you both Before and After.