It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:4-6
Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, knew the value of fundamentals. In preparing to play a game against the then lowly Chicago Bears, he preached all week--the basics, men, remember the basics. Don't forget! They forgot. The mighty Packers were taken down by the Bears. When the team arrived back in Green Bay, Lombardi ordered the team to get dressed and meet him on the practice field. Without question, the men got ready and waited on the field for Lombardi. Finally, he appeared and stood in front of them. He reminded them that they had forgotten the fundamentals and they were going to start from the beginning. Standing before the professional players he held up a ball and said, "Men, this is a football!"
Sometimes we forget the basics of the Christian faith. Enamored by new messages and methods we forget the foundational truths upon which our faith stands. When we ignore, change, or alter the foundational truths in any way, our faith falls. Second John is a call back to the fundamentals. John reminds us to go back to the basics.
First, John calls the believers to live "in the truth, just as the Father commanded us." John reminds the readers this is not some new teaching, but a command "we have had from the beginning." Second, foundational to the Christian faith is this: "Love one another." We are to love each other just as Christ loved us. Third, we are to "walk in obedience." Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Truth. Love. Obedience. Foundational stuff ... that we often forget.
Father, may we never forget the basics. May we be discerning enough to see beyond the book cover, the fancy website, the cool marketing schemes, the new can't-miss programs. Make sure everything we do is anchored in bedrock fundamentals. In Christ's name. Amen.