Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
1 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, 2 because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
4 I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. 5 But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.
Our passage this morning is a celebration of truth, specifically, it’s a celebration of THE truth. We live in a world that tries to create its own truth. We hear mottos like “live your truth” and “what’s true for me isn’t true for you” as a way to disregard THE truth of the Gospel. The Gospel is that Jesus came to redeem the world by His work on the cross and we have the opportunity to follow Him in His work of redemption. Now, that sounds great. Why wouldn’t anyone want to do that?
Because following Jesus requires a denial of ourselves. In following Jesus, we must deny any rights we think we have to alter or redefine the truth that God has laid out in His word.
As we reflect on this text, let us pray that God would reveal to us ways in which we’ve tried to go our own way so that we can confess those sins before God and allow His Spirit to reorient our lives in a new direction.
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen. (PCUSA Book of Common Worship Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993; p. 88)
Go with God!