1 John 2:15 — Deacons Lead Us to Love God & Others (Deacons Ordination / Installation Service)

deacons-bannerI have a new favorite catch phrase when parenting.

At night cereal bowls randomly are set out. At one spot is a green bowl, at another spot is a blue, yellow or maybe a red bowl. So in the morning the first person up switches the bowl to get their favorite color. Well, when the other child comes down they are heartbroken that someone is using their bowl.

They come running to me looking for social justice, and I tell them, “I want you to stop caring so much about that sort of thing.” “I don’t really care, and I want you to learn not to care. Grow up.”

This last month my kids bought tablets with their Christmas money. And they will sit for hours staring at them, playing games and such. And when we ask them to put them down we get expressions of extreme anguish that they have to walk away from their tablets.

So as parents we say, “I need you to stop loving that so much. Some day you will look with contempt on that device. You won’t care if it is broken, used by your younger brother, or lost. It won’t matter. You won’t care about it. I want you to start feeling that way about it now.”

That’s what the Apostle John is telling the Church in this verse. He’s saying, “I need you to stop loving the things that are not of eternal value.”

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The Old & New Command to Love

1 John 2 7-11 -- The Old & New Command to Love FirstPresTucker ARPChurch Anthony R LockeMy family enjoys playing board games. Battleship, Blockus, War, Go Fish and other family card games. Those moments are precious because we are together. We are enjoying fellowship and family togetherness. We do not gather around the kitchen table to read and study the rule book and then play to keep the rules. The rules of the game are incidental. Necessary, but not the focus. There is no joy in rule keeping. The joy is in the people we gather around the table.

The moment really isn’t about the game, it’s about the fellowship, and when we take our eyes off the joy of our fellowship the moment is lost. Life is like the board game. God wants you at His table. He calls you to Himself. God gathers you around His table. We all take our turns and enjoy fellowship together. At the end of the day all the money and pieces go back in the box.

The winners are not the ones with the most money, rather the ones who enjoy the company of others the most.

Of course we still need rules, but God isn’t thinking about the rules. God is thinking about how much he enjoys sitting at the table with us and living out the game of life

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1 John 2:3-6 — How Can I Be Sure I Really Know God Personally?

1 John 2 3-6 -- How Can I Be Sure I Really Know God Personally FirstPresTucker ArpChruch Anthony R LockeJohn Calvin explains that we first come to know God in repentance and faith. Then the Light of God touches our soul and makes us alive in Christ. We are forgiven and the blood of Jesus washes away the guilt of our sin.

Then, as we abide in fellowship with God, over a lifetime our life is transformed into an obedient life. As this obedience grows, we come to know that we know God.

An obedience life is what gives us an assurance in our hearts that we are saved.

We know we know God if we live like Jesus who prayed all night in order to stay connected to the Father.

Jesus worked to grow in wisdom, stature and in favor with God and man.

Jesus worked hard to live in constant fellowship with the Father. And that provided Him the power to overcome sin. That’s where Jesus got the enabling grace to will and to do all the good pleasure of God.

Our life should be the same

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The Fires of God Against Our Sin are Cold: Propitiation

Something in last Sundays sermon upset some folks and I wanted to use it for the introduction into today’s sermon. I said that unlike us “God is not a mix of good and evil, therefore God has no sympathy for our sin. God is never patient or at rest looking at our sin. God is always mobilized and agitated by sin. He is always on the move to deal with it.”

If the truth that God is angry against sin and sinners comes as a shock, then might I suggest we read our Bibles without cherry picking passages. The Scriptures never describe God as weak against sin. God will never get over our sin. God will never just accept us like we are in our sin.

Tolerance for sin is never listed as an attribute of the Divine nature.

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The Message We Proclaim

The Holiness of God is the main message of the Bible First Pres Tucker Anthony R LockeIt is in my theological DNA to make the end of verse 7 the big idea of this passage. I would be wrong. Most Christians think that the Bible is all about getting us saved, when in fact the Bible is not about us, our felt needs or pending destruction.

That truth doesn’t diminish The blood of Jesus which cleanses us from all sin, but that’s not the biggest truth coming out of the Bible. It’s in the top three big truths of the Bible, but it isn’t the top truth. The revelation about Redemption and the Creation are in the top three. But those don’t cover the biggest truth God wants us to understand.

The primary message of the Bible is about . . .

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What Constitutes Our Fellowship?

January 11th, 2015 1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the…

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