Saturday, July 10, 2010
Refreshed In The Privileges Of Understanding
Today we are concluding our brief walk through 1 John and, like most books of the Bible, I regret having to move on. I have found tremendous blessing and convictions in these words and feel renewed in several areas of my life. This is exactly what we look for and need every time we open God’s Word. We should desire to have to face our ugliness, to have it met by God’s love and overpowered by God’s grace. We should desire to be changed every day when we immerse ourselves in his wisdom and beauty; to be changed into the character of Jesus. This is how we are equipped to walk in our mission every day.
John gives us a proper end to this letter as he states a recap of the privileges and advantages of a true believer. First:
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. (1 John 5:18)
Now we all know that we continue to sin in small ways every day and must maintain a heart of repentance. The sin John refers to here is the whole-hearted giving ourselves over to sin. Being born of God we have received a re-birth that broke our dependency on sin and gave us a dependency on God’s love and righteousness. If we are still giving ourselves whole-heartedly to sin then we cannot consider ourselves born of God or we are in rebellion. John also reminds us here that God has given us the fortitude in ourselves to avoid sin and the enemy can no longer influence us to do what our re-birth has freed us from doing. If we choose to give ourselves whole-heartedly to sin again we cannot blame the enemy or anyone else. It is clear that to do this we have to make a conscience decision to take such action against God and his love for us.
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)
We know it but I think we sometimes forget it. We have nothing in common any more with this world or the people who belong to it. We are in it but not of it. We take part in order to fulfill our mission but we don’t get attached to things, we don’t take our pleasure in the same manner, we are looking forward to a better future. Don’t be surprised by the sins of this world and don’t bother getting angry about it, although their actions can make us profoundly sad at their condition. Remember, people are only doing what comes natural to them. We can try to teach them but until they encounter Jesus and accept his gift of love and salvation they will never understand. We must be true to our Lord, our mission and our purpose, just as the people of the world are true to their lord.
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5 :20)
This has got to be the greatest privilege in the history of the world, to receive understanding so that we may know our Father. The greatest story ever told is that of the cross and we have the privilege to be its story tellers. What a thrill it is to witness the eyes of the walking dead opened to the way, the truth and the life. To have the privilege of such deep and incredible fellowship with our God every single day, every moment of the day; sometimes I wonder if we forget the wonder of it all. We have such rich fellowship with the provider of our salvation, joy, peace, contentment, hope, and love. We should be dancing in the street every day, celebrating what it is we have found in Jesus Christ, the bringer of love, life, hope and such wonderful joy. My friends, let’s find the time to dance today and to show to this world that what we have is real, and that they can have it too. What a mighty God we serve, who desires that none should perish.