Tag Archives: Contact

The Third Chapter – 1 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 3:11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.[ESV]

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An unusual connection has been made between this Scripture and daily life because of Covid-19.  We’ve come to understand the risk that our faith can “be moved by these afflictions. [v3]”  We’ve all been encouraged to make purposeful contact with neighbors, friends and family to bless and comfort them so their faith might be a source of strength and blessing for them.  The surprise involved is that purpose has turned out to be a personal blessing as well.  I learned about the Greek word “allalon watching online church yesterdaya.  Allalon is the Greek word translated as “one another” in verse 12.  I also learned what a “mnemonic” is. A mnemonic is something in verbal form used to help remember something else.  If you look at “allalon” phonetically you might see “all alone” and therein lies the lesson

That one unfamiliar word has become the tool to remind me in an unusual way at just the right time of a truth I might have missed. It can’t be dismissed as coincidence. Isolation makes it seem we’re all alone but “allalon” confirms God has used that word intentionally to remind us of something completely opposite – “one another” – even in the midst of affliction. We are not “all alone.” Simply saying “I need to know you’re OK” is the reminder we give each other that faith is stronger than affliction.  The truth of “allelon” is the Lord’s assurance that affliction can move us to”increase and abound in love for one another”

a courtesy of Pastor Greg Long, Gracepoint Church, Sturgis, MI

The Third Chapter – John

John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”…16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ESV

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Nicodemus is our mirror for today.  He’s aware of Jesus.  He’s heard the stories.  He’s an inner-circle part of a well-established religious organization that desires to assure people of their position with God.  But Nicodemus realizes desire isn’t the same as reality.  He wants to make personal contact with Jesus because he sees Jesus is able to reveal the power of God in the lives of people that makes assurance more than just a possibility.  He’s curious about that.  Can you see yourself in Nicodemus’s story?  I can.

Curiosity and contact with Jesus are the essence of the assurance of being “born of the Spirit.”  God still uses them both to convert desire into possibility and then finally into reality…For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.