“OVERCOMING THE WORLD”

Hello all,

I have been travelling again this week on business. Of course for me, I don’t separate my work life from my Christian life very well and found myself worshiping, praying and walking with the Lord regardless of my locale. Somehow, the message from Ken two weeks ago and this past Easter Sunday (which was wonderful and “intense” by the way) has still left a lingering effect on my soul. After our great morning service, Ben Webster broke his wrist at the nearby park (he’s recovering but it was scary for a bit) and later in the afternoon with family, our 2 year old nephew Aaron took a spill on his velo and ended up at the emergency room as well getting stitches. Clear reality of a day worshipping AND dealing with the chaotic world around us!

The passages from Ken’s sermon were:

1 John 5:3-5
3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This Sunday I will continue the journey in 1 John with some wonderful words of assurance and hope in our faith. But, with all this in mind, my normal busy work/travel life took me abroad this week and in contact with a fairly successful business colleague. Over the past year I have had contact with this person about 5 times and “noticed” some troubling statements/behavior that caused me to question his “integrity”, but as it was infrequent trips and I don’t know him so well, I couldn’t get a full picture of his life’s circumstances. After this week, it is all clear. This man’s life is in a severe and serious crisis. He almost died about a month ago with a massive stomach problem as a growth (tumor like) bursted inside. He was hours away from death being poisoned from within and a life saving surgery was performed. The recovery is difficult as well with a few infection setbacks and he must step aside from work for several months to truly recover. The cause? The doctors can’t totally confirm it, but most likely severe stress was involved as a root cause. Now that I have a better picture of the last year’s circumstances I think there is no doubt; new business start up, major medical problem with infant child, illicit affair with married secretary, separation from wife, moving solo in new “home”, almost divorce secretary moves in, tough work atmosphere, struggling business and finally a major near death experience. I wish I was making this stuff up. Lack of God in one’s life and taking actions for quick gain/satisfaction without regard to consequences will eventually catch up, and in this case, in a worst case scenario.

But God’s Word in the verses above has something to say in these matters. If we love God, obey His commands (and love others) we find victory in overcoming this difficult world that is always trying to crash into us from all directions. Most of the world thinks that to “obey these commands” are like following a bunch of silly religious rules that imprison us to conform to do’s and don’ts and don’t allow us any fun in life. But this is the world’s false logic and miss the point that God’s commands are to give us freedom and hope! Who am I to go against the world, but I think that this world, and the sin in it, imprisons us to a hopeless life without God and His love and trying to fill our lives with anything and everything that eventually leads us to destruction. God’s Word says His commands are NOT a burden. A life with Jesus is a life that actually give us freedom in this world to actually live a life worth purpose, and an eternal purpose!

Read it again:
1 John 5:3-5
3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Who is it that overcomes the world? Christ-followers! DO YOU BELIEVE JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD? I pray you do!
 
I will be praying for my business colleague and his circumstances. As the opportunities arise, I will continue to share my concern for his life, and life eternal. He knows me well enough to know that I mean it!
 
Looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday at LIFT,

In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

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