First Things @ First
The ministry focus for 2020 is centered on being intentional in the mission purpose of the N.T. Church. In 2019, all in this fellowship of First were encouraged to reach one for Jesus' sake in matters of personal salvation. You may or may not have seen that assignment fulfilled. So, in our continuing journey with Jesus, our focus in 2020 will be on being more intentional in honoring His commission to the church. We must purpose daily to be used of God in such a way that a life is 'altared' through humility for eternity.
1 John 3:18-20 says, "My little children, (John is addressing believers when he says) let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things."
Pastor Chad Burdette offers this counsel from the word of God--"True Christian love means loving in deed and in truth.
Warren Wiersbe states in his commentary, 'Be Real', "The opposite of 'in deed' is 'in word' and the opposite of 'in truth' is 'in tongue.'"
John states that by this consistent practice of loving in deed and in truth our hearts will be reinforced with blessed assurance daily. There are many today who doubt salvation. And as a result, many are drawn into the devil's scheme of neutralizing their witness. Reason being people do not consistently share with confidence about someone/something they are uncertain about.
A failure to exercise faith daily in loving those who are difficult in truth--(without hypocrisy)--creates a lack of assurance in our soul as to whose we truly are. This exercise of loving others in deed and truth legitimizes in the heart of the disciple the unconditional love that we ourselves are beneficiaries of daily.
As we live the life He provides, we must learn to love as He loves. That includes others, not only close friends or acquaintances. And the extent of this kind of love must be more than 'lip service'. It must be in deed. And will be if it is truly genuine. Through this level of intentional practice, His presence and power help clarify our priority and purpose of sharing His truth and seeing His truth transform lives. As with a muscle in the human body, exercise what God provides through faith, will grow this gift of grace in strength of purpose.
So why does that even matter?
Our assurance is directly connected to His great command. His word to His disciples is an obligation for all who are redeemed. This is not optional for leaders or laymen. IF a person truly desires the assurance that overcomes the condemnation of Satan's fiery darts of temptation and the accusation that too often follows it, that individual must be obedient to the great commission.
As Pastor Rick Warren says, "a believer must possess a great commitment to the great commandment."
Confident disciples are those who are engaged in expressing what they have experienced because they love others on the level of wanting other people to experience it too!
Christians don't have to (and should not) live under a cloud of uncertainty that leaves them feeling guilty and ashamed most of the time.
The best way to live in the light of confident assurance is simple--show your story of His salvation in your life. Demonstrate it often! Don't settle for just saying it!
The genuine response of loving God is loving others in the same way that we ourselves are loved by God.
Be intentional because as disciples our mission is being 'On-Mission-365!'
Who's Your One?