“Here Is The Test” (1 John 2: 3, NEB) by Carley Evans

What are God’s commands? Are they difficult?

Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Then He tells us to take up our crosses and follow Him, denying ourselves daily. He reminds us that once we put our hand to the kingdom we must not look back at our past — either in longing or regret.

Jesus commands us to love the Lord our God with all our being — our hearts, our minds, our bodies — and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

The author of 1 John writes, “Here is the test by which we can make sure that we know Him: do we keep His commands? The man who says, ‘I know Him’, while he disobeys His commands, is a liar and a stranger to the truth; but in the man who is obedient to His Word, the divine Love has indeed come to its perfection.” (1 John 2: 3 – 5)

And, he writes that “here is the test by which we can make sure that we are in Him: whoever claims to be dwelling in Him, binds himself to live as Christ Himself lived.” (1 John 2: 6)

What is the command we are to follow? We are to “love [our] brother,” so “there is nothing to make [us] stumble.” (1 John 2: 10 – 11) Nothing is able to make us stumble as we commit to live as Christ lived.

Live a life of love, and so make sure you are dwelling in Christ.

“God Is One” (Deuteronomy 6: 4 – 5, ESV) by Carley Evans

God is One. We are to “love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our might.”

God is three persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Each person of God is equal to the other; we worship God as One.

Jesus says, “I know where I come from and where I am going.” (John 8: 14) “My judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent Me.” (John 8: 16) “If you know Me, you know the Father also.” (John 8: 19)

“For God so loves the world that He gives His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3: 16) So, “Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son.” (Hebrews 3: 6)

Jesus says, “I send [the Helper, the Holy Spirit] to you. And when He comes, He convicts the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me, concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you see Me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” (John 16: 7 – 11)

Jesus prays, “And now, Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory I had with You before the world existed. I manifest Your Name to the people whom You give Me out of the world. Yours they are, and You give them to Me, and they keep Your Word.” (John 17: 5 – 6)

The prophet Joel writes, “And in the last days it is, God declares, that I pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters prophesy, and your young men see visions, and your old men dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I pour out My Spirit, and they prophesy. And I show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below… And it comes to pass that everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord is saved.” (Acts 2: 17 – 19, 21)