By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)
Scripture Readings: 2 John
Key Scripture Verse: 2 John 1:6 (NIV, Life Application Bible)
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”
John the Apostle wrote 2 John, a short letter to a dear friend. He wrote it around A.D. 90 and in it he emphasized the following themes: seeking the truth, obedience to God’s commands, being wary of false teachers, and walking in love.
John made the point that believers should follow the truth of Jesus and to be careful of human teachers and leaders who claim to teach the truth but who teach heresy. It was a problem in John’s day and it continues to be a problem even today. Many may claim to teach the gospel and the teachings of Jesus but may have altered the truth to their own advantage. To discern the truth Christians should read and study the scriptures, because that is how we can discern the truth.
John said to follow God’s commands and to “walk in love.” This is what Jesus taught when he said that there were two basic commandments to remember: to love God and to love each other.
This book emphasizes that if any teacher “does not continue in the teaching of Christ,” that person does not know him, but is an “antichrist.” Anyone who does not acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah who came in the flesh, is also a deceiver and an “antichrist.” Anyone who does not “walk in love” as Jesus commanded, does not know him and does not follow him.
2 John is a short letter, a reminder of basic Christianity: know the truth, follow the truth, and live by the truth—to do so is to “walk” in the love of the Living Christ. Amen
By Paul Simrell
The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
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