Rejoice all the earth!

2021-05-02 – Year B – Easter 5
Deuteronomy 4:32-40; Psalm 66:1-8v; 1 John 3:18-24; John 14:15-21

Psalm 66 : 1-3,8 Shout for Joy to god, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, How awesome are your deeds!  Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard.

Amen, and I say let our spirits Rejoice! For We are wonderfully & uniquely made in the image of our loving God; and therefore I am assured that we have within us, the raw capacity to love, serve, protect &  care for one another; but we, in our corrupted nature, often struggle to move in the way of love, or fully discern, the way of truth and that of a pure heart, from those competing voices, of our flesh & our self-interest and the world.  So, when we consider the precepts of God, that call for us to love one, how would we say we are doing? Could it be said that we are an unruly people.  Where does the evidence on the daily news lead us? Are we encouraged, or haunted, by what we see & hear & may have experienced ourselves?  Have we, or are we, coming nearer to faithfully caring for one another & living as one? So who or what is driving human behavior. Some would say: it is a complex and stressful world, today, with so many pressures, that account or contribute to our actions against one another. Yes, this is true; and  we need to have compassion for all who struggle in body, mind & spirit and help to bring peace and restoration to our spirits; But let us also consider, the times, the setting  of the  1st family on the earth: Adam & Eve, they lived in paradise; yet, they sinned against God; his single admonition to them, do not eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden; or surely they would die. And yet they did, They ate of it, denning God’s sovereignty; bringing a curse upon mankind. They did not honor God; they chose to follow a dissenting, lying voice.            Their son, Cain, killed his own brother, Able, in, what today we might call, a jealous rage. He failed to love his brother; choosing instead death over life.

Listen to His voice leading from 1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. (Whoever does not love his brother is a murderer.) 14b Whoever does not love abides in death

13 do not be surprised brothers that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers.

In order to fully love, we must know love; to know love, we must seek Him who is love. We are called to answer love, acknowledging him and placing Him, 1st  in our life, above all else that He has created. Our Heavenly Father is He, who is the source of love itself, it is an unshakeable part of his holy nature and His love will not, cannot, fail and He shall triumph over all hatred & evil.

So, neither in our history, nor presently, has humanity acted properly toward God nor one another. We have failed to respect, the sanctity of life given by God, who’s way is love. We, mankind, have failed, we need a Helper a Savior; even the Lord himself, to dwell with us and lead us, personally. The evidence against the way of man, illustrates our failure. In God is our hope, our redeemer and the fullness of life.

Thanks be to God; we may rejoice in Christ Jesus our Savior!

 Even now as our own hearts may fail us in love…. We are lifted by God’s word, Hear this from 1 John 3:19-20 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything  and then (confidence before god) 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God So praise be to God, that we are before Him in every circumstance, great or small right or wrong; our Father will show his care and compassion for us.  So, in Him and by His grace we are enriched, such that His Name is proclaimed and that His likeness, in us, is the glory of life.  God does not turn from us; but bids us come nearer into the assurance of His love and protection and provision.  In Him who reigns, we are called blessed, and we, just as the virgin Mary, Mother of God, may have confidence that the Lord is with us and we have favor in his sight, and  proclaim that His will be done in us. Let us be the hand servant of the Lord.  May it be according to the word of the Lord! Luke 1:37-38      Luke 1:46-49

 As (When) we grant the Lord welcome and full reign, in our person, the presence of God’s anointing, (He) is more greatly revealed in us, His will put into action, brings rejoicing.  For He has promised in both joy and distress He is with us.     Consider how our Lord Christ prayed to the Father, with his soul in anguish, sorrowful, even unto death in the garden of Gethsemane, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, never the less, not as I will, but as you will. When we confess God in us, His will be done, we are not lost or abandoned; in our trusting surrender, we are granted the reason for our hope. God in us and with us. The power and strength of God in us, as His will be done. Matthew 26:38-39 

Father, glorify thy Name!

Love delights to be asked to bless and favor! Jesus Christ is the living embodiment of the Law of love; in this, in Him, we may embrace the life and the law as love. God’s love for us. He has said, If you love me; keep my law. In this way, our life becomes vibrant; we seek truth lovingly fulfilled, hope granted, His cleansing spirit awash in new life!  The law once seen as tablets of stone; we may now embrace fleshy tablets of the sacred heart of Jesus. Christ bids us follow me, let us walk together! Rejoice that we may know the embodiment of God in Christ; and by the gift and indwelling of The Holy Spirit, the life of Christ in us; Praise be to God, Alleluia Alleluia!!  Alleluia, the Lord is risen; the Lord is risen indeed. Jesus said As I live, also do you live. Christ, the anointed of God offered Himself over to death fulfilling the penalty, in our place, for the sins of all mankind, in order that we, repentant sinners, who accept His gift, believing Him to be the way the truth and the life, granting new life in us, and found pleasing unto almighty God

As we read, Whoever does not love abides in death. 1 John 3:13-15 How does that make you feel; it is a pretty stark reality? Well, we may rejoice that God abides in you. This enables us to love in sincerity. God has said If you love Him, you will honor my commandments. The greatest of all the commandments are what? To love god and to love another. All the law and the prophets are fulfilled in these.  1 John 3: 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he commanded us.1 John 3: 19 by this we know that we are of the truth.(when we are tested by sin God will assure us in Him for he is  greater than sin and will lead us in love, he is the means of love.

Deut 4 : God loves us; He is creator, yes; and even more, the father who cares for us, watches over us  His provision is so much more than just giving us tools and wishing us luck. He is God who loves us

Do you see a primary truth which stands out through out the scriptures? Love God, keep His commandments, care for one another and we will see God in power embracing us, leading us making a way for us. That we We may know the fullness of life and its blessing, is found in the provision of God

1John 5:1-5

1 John 3: 21-24

So how do we live this life that God has made for us?  #1 Trust in God; He has provision for your life; now & through eternity Rejoice in God that His provision for us, his leading for us is often beyond our comprehension. We are best when we trust and follow His lead, trusting Him for the outcome. As in our Gospel today He was preparing His disciples for life ahead, those things that of their own, don’t know to expect. He promised the Holy Spirit, that they might have the mind of Christ in them, that unlike the world, they would know God and dwell in His presence. John 14: 18-21

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