1 John 5
13 I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
14 And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made
16 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that.
17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.
18 We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. RSV
13 You may know that you have eternal life
you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
14 He hears us.
if we ask anything according to his will
And this is the confidence which we have in him
15 We have obtained the requests made
if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask
If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin
God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal
There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that.
17 All wrongdoing is sin
but there is sin which is not mortal
18 We know
any one born of God does not sin
He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him
19 We know that we are of God
the whole world is in the power of the evil one.
20 we know that the Son of God has come
and has given us understanding, to know him who is true;
we are in him who is true; his Son Jesus Christ
the true God and eternal life
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.
I’m struck by how complicated the life of a believer becomes with the reality of needing to submit [accept or yield], and at the same time resist [withstand the action or effect]. Submission and resistance are not as black and white as they may seem at first glance.
We all know our response to those complications is critical but sometimes the right choice slips by unnoticed in a world of gray. Ask the right questions. Comfort can make submitting to the wrong thing seem easy. Beware! We’ve all experienced the futility of wasting our energy resisting the “right” thing.
The right choice is all about the need to double √√ who you’re submitting to and who you’re resisting. Submit to the need to ask the right questions of the right person! Resist the lie this is a simple choice based on comfort or effort. “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Mark 7 – There was a mother whose little girl was possessed by an impure spirit. She was a gentile. The story reminded me Jesus was in gentile territory. Ordinarily a Jew would walk miles out of their way to avoid being in this place Jesus had chosen to go.
Then I found this piece of information was brand new to me. “The earthly Israel had failed to gather in the people of Phoenicia; now the true Israel had come upon them. It was not a strange land into which Jesus came; it was a land which long ago God had given him for his own. He was not so much coming amongst strangers as entering into his inheritance.”
Jesus had clearly taught the right food had nothing to do with whether a person was clean or unclean. Now the true Israel tells a different story of what makes a person clean or unclean. It’s not “right” birth or right location that makes a person clean or unclean. That’s a good thing but why is his response to the gentile woman is so harsh?
27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
Jesus was confronting this gentile woman to consider the inferior circumstance she’d lived under her whole life. Slavery then wasn’t so unlike the slavery we’re more familiar with. If you tell people for centuries they’re inferior it takes something more than history for them to believe they have the right to deserve more and ask for it.
28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
What Jesus saw in this woman’s response was courage defined by her faith in him. That was the only thing she had to offer. It wasn’t faith determined by rules or race. She had faith that defied all the odds of her circumstance…and that mattered to Jesus.
29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.