THE TEST OF TIME
24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life. 1 John 2:24-25
What are some of your time honored traditions? Things that you would never think about missing and if you did, you know that a piece of you would be lost forever. As we continue with our journey through 1 John, we are able to see that John's words have definitely stood the test of time. The ability to write in such a way that impacts not only the context in which we are living but future generations as well completely blows my mind. I know that for me, I hope and pray that maybe I will be able to provide some type of equipping that will be used by future generations to come. As we look at the ability to equip disciples, it does not surprise me that we continue to follow the basic model of Christ's example. We pour into people and train them in such a way that they turn and reciprocate that training to others. As I talk to those that are in leadership, I am constantly reminded that a leader that is able to survive the test of time is one that continues to change with the times by both leading and following. A leader must be willing to be poured into as much as they are willing to pour out. It cannot be just one direction. If a leader only pours out, they will find their lives dry and exhausting. If they are only getting poured into, they will find themselves overflowing and bursting at the seams to a point of discipleship overload. The test of time is the true tell of any good leader.
So why do I say that today in the midst of John's lesson for us today? Because I believe that we are still called to follow the path in which God has laid out before us. I believe that the Bible is still relevant and regardless of the changes in the world, it has withstood the test of time. It continues to provide for generations, the ability to find truth, healing, and enlightenment. The letters and stories continue to be relevant to all generations because the
cycle of sin still remains in this world. I know that many of us may not really take the time to dig in deep to God's Word, but I just want to let you know that we continue to face the same difficulties as past generations of the Church. We are always going to face issues that will try to discredit God and situations that will test the hearts of those who are disciples. The world has been filled with sin since Adam and Eve introduced it in Genesis 3, and I just need us all to realize that sin will continue to thrive in this world until the return of Christ. The test of time is whoever claims the ultimate victory in the end... satan or God. And if you have not taken the time to flip to the end of the Book, I have to tell you that satan will have dominion for a long time, but God definitely is victorious in the end. Truth, love, grace, and mercy will continue to be the most common themes throughout the Bible and will continue to be revealed until God's final revelation is fulfilled. Thousands of years should be proof enough that we still need Jesus, and with every day, time to reach the world continues to fade away.
As we step back into John's letter today, we have to realize that John was writing this letter to not just one church, but to multiple churches. John was continuing to recognize the struggles that were arising because the people were beginning to doubt that everything was going to turn out the way Jesus and the disciples had proclaimed. I know that it is hard when you are in the moment to draw strength to hold on and wait for God to fulfill His plan. We are such a generation of immediacy and I hate that sometimes we really don't allow God the time He needs to make sure everything moves in the manner it needs to move to reach the world. We all want answers yesterday for the questions we will not even ask until tomorrow. And John is calling all of us to not step into that realm of quick answers supplied by the world, but to take the time we need and allow God the power to unfold the story. Both the people John wrote to and those who read it for today already knew that Jesus was God's Son and that He had died on the cross for our sins. They understood the hope of Christ returning but they began to lose faith because time had passed and their needs were not immediately met. Teachers of other mindsets began to infiltrate their minds and John began to watch the people of God's Kingdom begin to turn away from their faith because of the false teachings of others. John continued to encourage them to hold fast and dig in to their faith and hold fast to the Truth showed through the life of Jesus.
So today I am asking that we too hold tightly to the TRUTH that we profess. The story of Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection is nearly 2,000 years old but it speaks with new freshness each day. God's Word has definitely withstood the test of time and should be a
part of our desires to pass on to future generations. We want to strive to encourage others to pass on their faith and to work together to study God's Word more diligently. We need to
allow God to work in His timing and realize that our immediacy is not in God's plan. I struggle with that a lot, but God continues to remind me daily that my thoughts are not His thoughts and my ways are not HIS ways. I do not have the right to demand God to fulfill my timeline, but I do have the privilege each day to live into His. I just want us all to know that the Gospel is real and it continues to destroy the lies of false teachings. God's Word continues to hold true no matter what situation arises in our lives. We can always go back and see where God has already gone before us to prepare in advance what we need to do. I just continue to pray and invite all of us to hold on to God's Word as a LIGHT that shines through our darkest days. I continue to pray that we will not allow satan to have even a small part of our lives, and through it all we will be able to look back over our lives and see how God led us through the test of time. The power of the Gospel is real and ready to penetrate the hearts of any who do not believe. May we stand firm in our faith and never swerve away from God's plan.