October 1 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of October 1, 2017

Thank you, Pastor Rod for the message from I John 2:28-3:10, “From First to Second.” This title may sound like it’s about baseball, but it refers to the period of time between the first and second coming of Jesus Christ.  We want to look at that whole sequence because it is where we find ourselves now. As we look at this passage we want ask, How do we live in authentic faith?          

REMAIN IN HIM  (VV.2:28-3:3)  28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. John uses this affectionate term, little children, showing that he cares for them. He says; abide in Him, which is a command for consistent action and obedience to God. We all need to remain connected to God and in the hope of His return. What He has for us is not an empty promise. It says when He appears… we may have confidence – we can have assurance in Christ and not have to shrink away in shame. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. There is a moral test of Christians: If you know Christ is coming back, then how should you live? How we live speaks to our core beliefs, our motivations, and our thoughts. For the Christian, it is a new birth which brings new behavior – practices righteousness. Those who are born again will then live righteously. 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. This speaks of the sacrificial love of God, for Him to send His Son, Jesus, to the cross for us. No other love can match that. People try to fill their lives with every distraction, trying to find meaning in other people, events or things. John uses children of God as an affectionate term, but do we view one another as such? The world misunderstood and rejected Christ and the world rejects Christians. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.  Although in name and position, we are children of God, we do not enjoy full benefits and experiences until Christ comes again. We are now still under construction, like a building or artwork being formed, but at His return we will be like Him. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. There is a response to this hope. If we know about this hope and future, we can stay fixed on it, so we can be just as He is pure – without contamination. How can we remain in Him? We can receive, learn, and grow in Christ.

REFRAIN FROM SIN   (VV.3:4-10)  4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. Sin is rebellion, rejection, and disregard of God. We all do it, but this refers to a habitual disposition of the heart. It is when one would ignore what is right, choose to do wrong. Some think they are above God’s law but all are under the law. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Only God can rescue us from sin – now and for eternity. But practicing habitual sin, in rejection and rebellion of God’s law is incompatible with the work of Christ. When we are born again, we have a new birth, a new nature, and a new behavior. Before sin dominated and enslaved us and we had no free will. Christ freed us from snare of sin. 7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. What we want to do is live like Jesus and not mesh with the lifestyle of sin. Habitual, unconfessed, and unrepentant sin is of the devil. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. In fact, He defeated sin at His resurrection. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  Righteous living is evidence of new birth. Sin and the Holy Spirit are incompatible. Christians do sin, but also have the opportunity for confession, to be cleansed by Christ. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious; anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

Children of God practice righteousness. It is more about having a lifestyle of doing what is right. This scripture is a mirror not magnifying glass. It is not for us to point out the sin in others, but to examine ourselves. Let’s not be like the Pharisees who prayed, “Thank you for not making me like one of those sinners.” Love others. There is no room for bitterness, grudges, ingratitude, a critical spirit, or having pride.

Praises and Prayer Requests:

Please continue to join in the 40 Days of Prayer for GROW SANLO, Monday, Oct 2 is day 29. Prayer Guides are available on our website:  slzjcc.org/grow-sanlo 

Calendar Items:

10/7   8:45am         Missions Prayer
10/7  9:30am-1pm  Winter Vision Planning meeting (8-9-10)
10/7                       JCCWC 40th Anniversary
10/8     5:00pm       Evening Praise Service with Junko Nishiguchi Cheng
10/13                      40th Day of Prayer started September 4
10/14   5:oopm        Fall Banquet and celebrating our 88th Anniversary (10/13/1929) 
10/31                      Harvest Festival

11/4   9:30am-1pm  Winter Vision Planning meeting (8-9-10)
11/10                      Craft Day setup
11/11                      CRAFT DAY!

Have a blessed week with authentic faith in Jesus Christ, 

Stan, for slzjcc