Last week, I was preparing for a talk that I was giving in Caroline Springs at the Anglican Church there.
I like preaching, in fact I like it a lot.
It does require however quite a big commitment in knowledge, as not only do you have to understand what you are saying, but you have to be able to convey it to people who may can range from intellectual to imbeciles.
The verse that I was given was 1 John 3:19-24
When preparing for it, I was given two things that I needed to focus on.
I needed to understand the text and be able to go deeper than face value.
I needed to understand it so well that I could explain it easily.
With that, I dug deeper and deeper to fulfill my goals and do my job faithfully
This is what I learnt
1. How We Know We Are Disciples
I like this one a lot.
The verse says that know we are Christians, that we ‘belong’ to the truth because of love.
We know we are disciples, because it’s easy to see love that is flowing out of us.
I know a lot of people who say they believe, but the difference between someone who turns up on Sunday and someone who is a disciple is love.
Need to know whether you’re a Christian? Check the love.
2. Our Heart Condemns Us Often
For whenever our heart condemns us..
This was something that perhaps surprised me.
My heart often tries to bring me down in ways you wouldn’t believe.
You’re not nice enough
You don’t deserve this
No-one actually likes you
I often felt like I was the only one that felt this way, but the verse shows us that in fact, we should expect our heart to condemn us. We should actually be ready for it because ..
3. We can have peace
That is one of the beautiful messages of 1 John 3, we can have peace when our heart condemns us.
In this busy world of ours, peace is such a hard fought for feeling but we can have it.
It’s so simple
We can put our heart at peace by:
a) knowing that we belong to the truth
b) knowing that God is greater
The sheer knowledge of those two things is enough to put our heart at rest.
Worrying? Anxious? Insecure?
Lay your heart to rest with the knowledge that you belong to the truth and that God is greater
4. We have been given a commandment
God has given a very simple to understand but hard to undertake commandment.
He says we can have complete and utter confidence before him if we believe that Christ is the son of God, and if we love people.
That is our task on this earth.
That is the commandment that we have to do.
Mark Driscoll once said that the greatest theologian is the person who “understand the word of God and goes out and just does it’
That is our command.
Believe Jesus is who he says he is.
Love people, unconditionally.
What did you learn this week? Why not go deeper this week!