Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
1 John 5:1-5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Faith Conquers the World
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ[a] has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:1-5 is packed with meaning for us today. How do we love others, the children of God? By loving God and obeying God’s commandments and those commandments are not a burden, but they are from God and they conquer the world. Not only that, but our faith conquers the word. Wow. That is quite a claim, isn’t it? Do you hear the good news in that?
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
When an expert in the law asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, he answered quoting two Bible passages: Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. He said, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Following those commandments—on which “hang all the law and the prophets—can overcome hate, poverty, exclusion, prejudice and so many other ills of our world. Following the commandments of God, summed up by Jesus in two commandments, has the power to transform our world. Do we have the faith to believe that and to act on it? In many ways our lives depend on it.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster