Join us this Sunday at 9:30am, as Pastor Norm completes our summer series, Postcards with a Punch. Only 13 verses long, the tiny memo that is II John would have barely filled a single sheet of paper. It's like a note we might write and drop in the mail to a close friend. However, as I've shared throughout this series, short does not mean insignificant, and the letter of II John is no exception. II John contains three principles we can spend the rest of our lives putting into practice. These aren't complicated, but they are difficult, because navigating between unconditional love and discerning truth will always be a challenge for followers of Jesus.
First, loving others is a fundamental expression of authentic Christianity. Nowhere does John dismiss the idea of loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. One of the greatest forms of witness we can have is to show love toward each other and those outside the church.
Second, embracing the truth is equally important. The one who loves you the most is the one who tells you the truth. It isn't loving to let a person engage in destructive, ungodly behavior just because we don't want to offend them. This means we need to know the truth, grow in the truth, and study Scripture and sound theology. If you don't know what you believe and why, you won't know where to stand on any doctrinal or moral issue--at least not with any solid conviction. Take time to study and be strengthened in the truths of God's Word.
Third, love and truth are not mutually exclusive. We must know the truth and take a stand for it without backtracking, compromising or downplaying its importance in the role of a follower of Jesus. At the same time, we need to be gracious and winsome in our witness. As I Peter 3:15-16 states: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." We must stand for the truth, but at the same time, we must extend love and walk in grace. We must love within the banks of love and discernment...and learn to live in the tension of grace and truth.
Note: Good Neighbor Project is scheduled for Sunday, August 21st. This will be our 5th year taking a Sunday morning to blanket our city with the love of Jesus. We will accomplish this by rolling up our sleeves and helping get Beaverton High School ready for the upcoming school year, filling backpacks with school supplies and individually providing our neighbors with a gift bag. The day will conclude at noon with an all-church bbq. Make plans now to join us for this special Sunday of loving our neighbors.
Finally, John Crisan (wife Syliva, son Alex), went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, July 31st. On behalf of Sylvia and family, I want to invite you to attend a Celebration of Life service for John. This special time of remembrance will take place tomorrow, Saturday, August 13th at 10:00am in the Fireside Room of Parkside Fellowship.
Please join us for this special time of remembering the life God gave John and the love and laughter he shared with his family and all who knew him. Also, please pass this information along to those who would be interested in attending.
See you Sunday!
Doug Boyd - Sr. Pastor