October 16, 2020

Walk in Love; Abide in His Teachings

2 John

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Greeting

The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love.

Walking in Truth and Love

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we1 have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Final Greetings

12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your elect sister greet you.

Footnotes

[1] 1:8 Some manuscripts you

Walk in Love; Abide in His Teachings



Key Verse | 2 John 6, 9

And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. . . . Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 

Bio | Rylee Rosales

Good morning, friends! My name is Rylee Rosales, and I live in Fort Worth, Texas, with my devastatingly handsome husband Omar. We are double opposites (an emotional, creative-type married to a textbook engineer), and our differences keep us humble and close to Jesus! We currently serve together at Watermark's Membership Classes and love getting to share about the vision and values of the place that changed both our lives for the better. Some of the biggest catalysts for change in my life were Equipped Disciple and community—thank you, Jesus, for both!

Central Truth

To walk in love is to walk obediently in accordance with God's commandments. It is to learn to abide in Christ's teachings rather than being distracted by the things around us or being impatient for the things that are ahead.

Devotional | 2 John

Have you ever experienced a season of impatiently longing for whatever's up next? I have. In fact, I feel like I'm in that season right now. At the time of writing (October 2019), I find myself in the early...

Have you ever experienced a season of impatiently longing for whatever's up next? I have. In fact, I feel like I'm in that season right now. At the time of writing (October 2019), I find myself in the early weeks of pregnancy (praise God!), but as this is my first, I have also found that some of the side effects of growing a tiny life inside of you aren't so lovely. In this new season, I find myself distracted. I find myself impatient for what's ahead (a respite from extreme nausea and "morning" sickness); and admittedly, my solitary goal as of late has been to just "get through each day," rather than choosing to set aside time (even small pockets) to abide in the teachings of Christ. What a timely gift it has been to study this small New Testament book—because, wow, I needed the reminder!

In 2 John 9, John warns us against impatiently wandering ahead. He tells us that "everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. . . ." He then gently reminds us that "[w]hoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son." There is nothing I want more, especially in this new season, than to experience the peace and the presence of the Holy Spirit. And it seems like a pretty straightforward game plan for the believer: abide in His teachings, and receive His presence.

At some point, I will likely become distracted again by my desire for the "season ahead." And because I know this to be true, I know I need community. We all do. I encourage you to share with the believers around you what is keeping you from obedience—from walking in love and abiding in Christ's teaching. 

Jesus, let us not lag behind in laziness or distraction. Let us not wander ahead in impatience or self-assurance. Help us walk obediently in love and abide daily in Your teachings. Remind us of Your words in John 15:5, for we can do NOTHING apart from You.

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Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever experienced a season of impatiently longing for what's next? What did that season look/feel like? 

2. Did you continue to abide in Christ during this season, or did you find yourself distracted?

3. If there is something that is keeping you from abiding in Christ's teachings today, who can you share this with to help keep you accountable?

4. What one thing can you do to obediently walk in love today? 

6 Comments available

Patrick Gibbons 10 days ago

I’m thankful for this reminder to simply live in today, to be diligent with today, and have a quiet spirit, confident in the Lord, showing love and care.

Linda Green 10 days ago

Thank you, Rylee, for your sweet reminders to walk in love and obey Jesus’ teachings TODAY!

2 John 9 reminds me of a very “liberal” pastor at a funeral celebrating how they had gone beyond the narrow teachings of a certain denomination, when actually they are casting off the bonds God put in place.

Think the Holy Spirit has to direct you on when to pull back from a friendship- eventually even God pulls back from people who are determined to go their own way (Romans 1:28). But He is not willing that any should perish- thank you, God, for never giving up on me! 2 Peter 3:9, Romans 2:4

Sue Bohlin 12 days ago

Thanks Rylee! I hope you are cuddling your “Covid baby” these days . . .??

We see and hear the phrase “Love is love” a lot these days, and it’s usually used to justify any relationship that people think will make them happy. Including relationships that God expressly says in His word are sinful.

But He tells us, through John, “THIS is love . . .”

And ohboy ohboy, it’s OBEDIENCE. “. . .that we walk according to His commandments.” Not “. . .that we walk in any way that we think will fill the hole in our hearts and make us happy.”

I see once again evidence that God’s love language is obedience.

Greg Jones 12 days ago

Today we write a devotional on these verses that embraces a spirit of our acceptance into this community as the best expression of showing God’s love to an unknowing world.

In its own time the letter will be used as reason to excommunicate various groups teaching various ideas about the relationship between the Father and the Son. It will take about 225 years for our current doctrine of the Trinity to develop. For the first three centuries of Christianity no theologian writing at the time would be considered a trinitarian today. From one strain of thought some ideas are culled others developed into current theology. Those who continued to teach what had been culled by a developing group of elect bishops, those who taught beyond what the bishops had yet decided on were not to be “received or given a greeting”(v.10)

Michael Scaman 12 days ago

I see this as a way of expressing ‘the perseverance of the saints’. The elect will be kept on track by the Holy Spirit working in circumstances, other believers and in the person. The elect is like the child of God who God trains up in the way he should go (disciplining as necessary) and when he is old God’s child does not depart from it.

Someone not elect, not reborn, might veer off into the wild blue yonder, departing from the gospel. Like the dog returning to it’s vomit, as the New testament quotes from Proverbs, basic nature and desires and treasures of the heart unchanged

In some ways it’s a reminder to examine yourself.

Hugh Stephenson 12 days ago

GM Rylee. Thanks for a great devo on patience and focus; two of my many struggles.

Recently I have been wrestling with what it means to be “unequally yoked”. Part of this struggle is how long to be patient with friends & family members who:

are not believers,

ridicule the faith, and

assert their own truth.

Jesus was patient and kind with the Pharisees, Sadducees etc but eventually turned away.

In Mark 6:6b-11 Jesus gives the disciples good instruction as to when to “move on”.

I know of one pastor who counseled regarding evangelism, “tell them once, tell them again and then leave them alone”.

Luke 15:16 also edifies.

The sad piece for Amy (Proverbs 31) and me is that many, many friends fall into these groups. We have reluctantly said good-bye to dozens of friendships collectively covering hundreds of years of time; (Hebrews 12:1-3).

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