Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of November 5, 2017…
Thank you Pastor Rod for the message from 1 John 5:13-21, “Things You Need to Know… Always.” Newsfeeds from the web can give suggestions such as, “Five things you need to know today,” but what is most important is what we need to know… always… for our eternity. Chapter 5 is the closing part of the 1st letter of John, completing our series on Authentic Faith. Starting with verse 13, John reminds us by capsulizing all that came before. 13a These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God. The entire letter points here to this spot - what things did John write? Joy – 1:4, may not sin – 2:1, forgiven – 2:12, know truth – 2:21, do not be deceived – 2:26, which he said more expansively in the gospel of John.
John 20:31, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” He writes this so we will know our purpose. 13b so that you may know that you have eternal life. John reassures them they were right to believe in the name of the Son of God, to believe in Jesus and he encourages them not to have doubts. They have been unsettled by false teachers saying opposite things, causing doubt where we may also find ourselves. We may find things are not going smoothly with family or work; struggling with thoughts and distractions; and we might view church as a place not about its people. So we may ignore and avoid thoughts of eternal life in everyday living because we have so much to do and so we just go about life. Know that you have eternal life – this affects the present. What we know is shown in how we live, how we think, and how we act. Knowing that we have eternal life, our communion with God affects the way we pray. We can have confidence and assurance He hears us. 14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. We have access to God and know He hears us so we can approach and have fellowship with God. People focus on, if we ask anything – asking for material or physical things. But we should pray according to His will - prayers in keeping with God’s purposes. We want to have personal transformation, the renewing of our minds, and kingdom transformation, the renewing of others’ lives. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. Praying within the will of God, the emphasis is on how He hears us. It is all about His attentive listening, not on how He answers. We need to have recognition of His authority, obedience to His Son, and His Word.
John then goes from assurance in personal prayer to ministry of prayer for others. 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death… Prayer for others is encouraged here. If a Christian is in sin, we should lift each other up in prayer and talk to God, not to others about it. When there are observable sins, we often judge and condemn. Jesus covers sin, we all need turn to Him. …he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. Any sin is destructive, it erodes unity, divides community and hurts the reputation and integrity of the church. 16b There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. Sin leading to death – this is a spiritual death, a separation from God for eternity. This is in the context of false teachers, who willfully, deliberately, and intensely reject the gospel and Jesus Christ. Leave them in hands of God. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death – with repentance they can have forgiveness. Knowing eternal life and knowing God hears us leads to new birth. 18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. Born of God - do not keep sinning. After talking about praying for others who sin, we also need to look in the mirror. Evil one does not touch him – ‘Grabbing hold with the intent to do harm.’ Do not deliberately walk in darkness; walk in God’s light. We are to be apart from the world. 19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. The world rests in power of the evil one. We know we are children of God because we belong to Him.
Receive new birth, receive understanding. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may 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. Jesus gives us understanding to know He is the Messiah, the Savior of world through the very life that He lived, the words that He taught, the sacrifice that He suffered, the death that He conquered, His resurrection that He was glorified, so that we may know the true God, that is Jesus Christ. 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Guard yourselves – demonstrate personal responsibility and be vigilant. Many things draw us away from God. Do we look to them rather than Christ for our ‘salvation?’ Jesus is the Living Water, we will never thirst again when we have new birth, new understanding, eternal life. Christ Jesus, is the only way.
Operation Christmas Child is a “global gift exchange” project operated by Samaritan’s Purse. You can sign up to bring Shoeboxes filled with toys and other items for children in need around the world (through 11/19). See Janet Buso-Morgan.
The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is Nov. 5 – Nov. 12. Non-perishable food donations will be given to the Alameda County Food Bank. A friendly congregational competition will be put on by the Sunday School to see what team brings the most food! Please look for the posted teams at the church. Questions? Contact Jeff Kataoka.
11/10 Craft Day setup (Little House is canceled until January 12)
11/11 CRAFT DAY!
11/12 both services Veteran’s Recognition & Missions Moment – Nick and Eric Petkoff (TEAM, Japan)
11/12 12:30pm Missions Team meeting
11/19 both services Missions Moment – Roy and Nancy Toma (JEMS)
12/1 7:11pm B.A.M.
12/2 8:30am Mission Prayer
12/2 9:30am Winter Vision Planning meeting (rm.8-9-10)
12/2 Craft Day debrief
12/3 12:30pm Full Rehearsal of the Christmas Program
12/8 5:30pm Full Rehearsal of the Christmas Program (Little House canceled until January 12)
12/9 10:30am Christmas Program followed with reception
Have a blessed week knowing Jesus Christ,
Stan, for slzjcc