Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday, 8 March 2013 ~ Roxie

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 15, 16; Psalm 49; Luke 5
Today's scripture focus is 2 John 1:1-3

2 John 1:1-3

The elder, to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth-- and not only I, but also all who know the truth--because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

My very first thought is: who is the lucky family to receive a letter from the very grandfatherly and wise, John? At almost 100 years old (at least according to my study Bible), John is still writing, still teaching, still encouraging. I so often think of retiring...and my thoughts tend to be incredibly selfish when I allow them to drift that way: a cabin on a lake, quiet breeze blowing, sitting, tucked into a rocker on my front porch gazing into the sunset, cradling the heat of a cup of tea between my hands...rocking...rocking.

Perhaps, this is the wrong way to think of retirement? There are still going to be people needing to know about this truth and love of which John speaks and speaks again. My study notes said something absolutely beautiful that pushed me to think beyond my far off retirement:

“This emphasis on truth shows that authentic Christian love involves more than sentimentality” (study note on 2John1:1 HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students)

More than sentimentality. More than light, fluffy feelings that sweep feet off the ground and thrust heads into the do we, as Christians show this authentic Christian love? Being in a place where there is very little variety in regards to the people that I encounter, I have been noticing that I far too frequently forget what true Christian love is...that it has very, very little to do with sentimentality...and much more to do with grace for them and grace for me...a whole lot of apologizing...and even more giving my feelings back to God. 

Grace takes away guilt; mercy, misery: peace implies the abiding in grace and mercy.
(Wesley’s Explanatory Notes)

I am so very grateful that Jesus is the truth. We don’t have to wonder what He stands for. We don’t have to wonder if His standards will ever change. We do learn to love in truth. We do trust that the Truth will live inside of us forever...will never leave us...and is the source of any grace and mercy that we are able to share. 

For the chosen lady and her children, what a blessing to know Christian love as shown through John and the rest of the Christian community. What a blessing to be encouraged and blessed and educated by a friend with such an intimate relationship with the Truth, Jesus Christ.

We may not be “Apostle John’s” here on this blog, but the treasure is that we can walk in intimate relationship with Christ. We are working towards intimate knowledge of Him, of Truth by studying His Word, by encouraging and blessing each other. This is a practice that should last far beyond retirement!

Many blessings, dear friends; Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ.


Monday's scripture focus: 2 John 1:4
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Numbers 17, 18


Miriam said...

I just realized I never think about retirement. Maybe I don't think I'll ever be able to retire! I'm sure I'll still find lots to keep me busy, even if the day comes where I no longer have gainful employment. Be that as it may, I hope that I will remember to encourage and bless those around me, no matter where I am or what else is going up, down or sideways. Thanks, Roxie.

Roxie said...

Or maybe you just enjoy your present life so much that you don't need to dream of a different pace! Nothing wrong with that at all...retiring from a family farm may not be as dreamy as my dream sequence was! My in-laws are 75 and 79 and still working! Whether at work or play, God can love and speak through us! It is something I need to work on while ON the family farm! It is DEFINITELY not as easy and slow paced as I once thought! I need more grace, all the time, to pour out over others and to drench myself with even more frequently!!!

LaughingLady said...

I don't remember who I was listening to one time (probably MacArthur!), but I remember being struck by the observation that our modern-day concept of retirement ~ of getting to quit working, to relax and do what we FEEL like doing in our sunset years ~ is not really present anywhere in Scripture, and really, was unheard-of in general up until about two generations ago. (but the concept, I guess, is not unlike so many of us who tend to feel we DESERVE 2-3 hours of sitting and consuming mindless media each day after fulfilling various physical responsibilities during the day that we deem to be "enough.")

However we feel about being entitled to leisure time, I think it's pretty clear that spiritually and especially discipling-wise, there is no such thing as retirement!!