The Sin

Day 1

Read 1 John 2:1-14

John has such a different writing style than what is found in the rest of the Bible.  His plain wording, simple explanations, and short sentences, in my mind, make it one of the best books to start reading the Bible in.  In fact, sometimes it feels too surface level to be what it is.  So we read it, and then try to unpack the deep hidden meaning that is lost in the cultural changes over the years, asking is this what you really meant?   There is no hidden meaning, John said what he said and what he meant is just sitting there for the taking.  So, relax.  Maybe it’s Monday when you come to this devotion.  Just read it and take it for what it says.

What is John’s goal or point in writing as he states it clear as it can be?

How does this passage you just read help in that goal?

The Bible does not seem to allow the separation of loving God and not agreeing with God’s word or obeying God’s word. In other words, the actions always seem to accompany the love idea.  Is that different than our current understanding of love?

Pretend you are explaining verses 9-11 to someone that is new to following Jesus.  How would you go about this?

How does this make it into your prayers today?

Day 2

Read 1 John 2:15-29

I don’t think John needed all 29 verses to say what he said.  It seems like he said it, then he said it again.  But I also get that I am hard headed like that and I guess I need that sort of talking to.  It's like the second half of this chapter is a billboard for McDonald’s.  The billboard is not the first time you have heard of this place, it’s just there to remind you of what you have already heard of.  

John starts by telling us not to love the world of the things in the world.  So what does that mean exactly and how do we know the difference between the things in the world and the things not in the world?

We are given all of this chapter, John leads us to believe, so that we can know the fake from the real.  That makes sense in the idea of understanding false teachers and who they are.  How are you to spot a false teacher according to John?  (There are many ways listed here)

What versions of false teachers or teachings have you seen and what should be your response to them?

Share some of these ideas on the app with the others reading the devotions this week.

Day 3

Read 1 Samuel 8:10-22

The point of looking at this passage today is not politics.  It is not about politics.  Well…it is, but it is not really.  God is communicating a truth that is a basic life principle we should learn.  When you let something or someone rule over you, it or they will always take from you what you do not want to give up.  The cost weighs more than the benefit.  I know it says this about a king, but when you couple it with the idea of the Cain and Abel story, God taught us that sin wants to rule us and its “desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7.  The example from our story in the David and Bathsheba story, helps us to get a perspective on that. 

What are all of the things Samuel warns that a king will take from the people?

Why do you think God is against this idea?

How have you experienced sin’s desire to rule you?

How does Jesus' story directly speak to and deal with that idea?

How does this make it into your prayer today?

Day 4

Read 1 John 1:5-10

That was so short that you should maybe read it again, just to get the flow.  Are you back from doing that?  Ok.  That is simple and to the point.  But simple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dwell on it, or as we have often said, sit and spend time with it.  So you have the time set aside, let’s roll it around with some questions.

The Bible uses the themes of light and dark often.  What do you think that it means or communicates to you the reader, to be told that God is light and there is no darkness in Him?  

Notice the connection between truth and light here.  It may seem basic, but explain why those two are connected?

What does it mean to walk in the light?

How have you seen the world wanting to get rid of the idea that we are sinners and what damage have you seen from this?

Why not share on the app some of your thoughts from today’s devotions?

Day 5

Read 2 Samuel 11:6-27

For me, the thing that never ceases to amaze me about sin, is not the desire towards it, but the distortion of reality that comes along with it.  The things that I have heard people justify or twist in their minds to make something ok is only rivaled by the bizarre things I have found in my mind justifying my actions.  Think about the context for this story!  David had his friend and one of his leading men murdered to cover up for his own mistake.  In other words, he was able to come up with the sort of equation that decided his own public shame would be better avoided than the murder of a friend and loyal man. That is the definition of crazy and the very reason this story reeks of anti-David reality that we struggle to reconcile.  

How do you think David got here?

Have you ever experienced sin’s ability to deceive even your own heart?  

How do we fight against this?

How do we help other people to fight against this?

How does this make it into your prayers today?

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