Vs. 18, “Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim.” A sad day indeed. The glory of the Lord would leave. I read a biblical commentary that likened this scene with the cherubim and wheels (chapter 1 as well) like that of a limousine. When the President of the US leaves a particular place, he leaves in a motorcade of limousines. Likweise, we see God’s glory leave with the cherubim (angels) and wheels. Judgement was upon God’s people for their hardened hearts. God doesn’t bluff, when He says there will be consequences…He follows through.
Regarding application…Not Walking With God. When we as individuals or we as a church make decisions that turn away from God…He most definitely can withdraw His power and glory in our lives. While nothing can seperate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8), this isn’t talking about losing salvation, rather, God cannot work in a heart of people who do not want Him. Remember, though God was departing from the temple they built for Him, He would return because of His faithfulness after the Babylonian exile. It is tragic to see Christians and churches who once were walking with God, turn their back on Him. I pray that whatever church we are attending, that we would be voice and a positive influence to encourage each other to put God first in our lives!
Vs. 3, “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” Truth must be balanced by Love….and Love must be balanced by Truth. The truth is not something we simply study or believe…it should be a motivating force in our lives! It is not simple enough to know it, we must live it (Vs. 4-6). We must also protect the truth (Vs. 7-11). We must be careful and wise in discerning what is true and what is false. Once again, we see the strong emphasis on false teachings. The early church made it a practice to support traveling teachers & pastors, but John was quick to admonish them not to show hospitality to those who preached a false Gospel. While it is okay to share God’s love & truth to them, it is dangerous to have them over to your house.
Regarding application…Walking with Jesus. Vs. 4, “It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.” Wow…isn’t that so true? Next to the joy in the Lord…I would have to agree with John when it comes to receiving joy when I see members of this youth group walking with our Lord Jesus! As much joy as it gives me…we can only imagine how much more that joy is amplified up in Heaven!!! As we soon approach the Lord each day…may we bring joy to our Lord by following Him! When we come to church….may we come with hearts ready & minds ready to worship & learn the Living Word of our Lord! And perhaps by doing that we can even bring each other joy when we witness the love of the Lord displayed in each others lives! They say there is safety in numbers. When we go strange places, it is always wise to take another to walk with you. Spiritually, it is imperative to take the hand of Christ and let Him guide you through the dark streets of our lives.
Vs. 15, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I like John’s style of explaining things…this chapter focuses now on our relationship with Christ. There are many things that can keep us from the Love of Christ…the hatred of others, the love of the world, the false teachings of others, the denial of God in our life… Jesus is our advocate, Jesus is our example and Jesus is our commander. He helps us against our enemies and Jesus is the source of our hope!
Regarding application…Walking. Vs. 6, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Before there were planes, trains & automobiles =)…there was walking. It still is the main source of how we get from point “A” to point “B”. Think of people who are in wheelchairs their whole life…we take walking for granted. Yet, I believe we take the our Spiritual walk for granted even more. For Christians…there is no denying it…We claim to be “In Christ!” Yet..talking the talk vs. walking the walk are two very different things. Why is it that Christians complain and cry out “Woe is me” when trials and tough times come? Why is that these trials make us question God’s love? Because…we don’t know God’s word! If we did…we would realize that the walk Jesus took was filled with joys & trials.
Remember the movie “Forrest Gump”? There was a time in the life of Forrest that he could not walk well…and as he got older and went back home…he decided to not only start walking but jogging across America. It became a phenomon in the movie as many followers began to run with Forrest. But when asked where he was going or why he was doing it…Forrest didn’t really have an answer…he just did it. But we don’t just walk for no reason. We walk with deliberation and conviction. We are called to go down the path less traveled. We must walk with Jesus. You must walk with Jesus. Why? Because He lives in us!