Wednesday, March 23, 2011

1 John 4 & 5

I am finishing up 1 John today. Chapters 4 & 5 have challenged and encouraged me. I have pulled several key verses that resonated with me...

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and know God. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love. -1 John 4:7-8

I am challenged daily to love, not just my family or friends, but all those I come in contact with. People that aggravate and frustrate me, people who are rude and unkind...God calls to love everyone, not just those who are easy or convenient to love.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. -1 John 5:2

Showing love to my brothers and sisters in Christ by obeying God! What a wonderful blessing and instruction God has given us in this verse!

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. 1 John 5:4

Again, God instructs us that we are not to be of the world, we are to overcome the world. We should not let the ideas and values of the world influence us and draw us away from those of God. Through faith, we can accomplish this!

We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. -1 John 5:18

What?! Not sin?! But I am not perfect!!! But God calls us to seek perfection in Him, and again offers His promise that if we are seeking perfection, He will protect us from Satan. He knows we will stumble and make mistakes, but if we are continually seeking His face, we should not be living in habitual sin.

Friday, March 4, 2011

1 John 3

1 John 3 tells us how to love one another as sisters and brothers in Christ and continues to admonish us to righteousness.

"Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous." 1 John 3:7

Here John is reminding us not to be fooled by the Great Deceiver, not to follow the ways of the world and think that we can "get away" with living in sin. God calls us to perfection, to be constantly maturing and walking with Him.

John also defines love for us as children of God...

"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." 1 John 3:16

Again, he is calling us to strive for righteousness in that Jesus laid down His life for us, we should do the same for others. Note he does not say we should "be willing to lay down our lives", he says we "ought to lay down our lives". God calls us to put aside our own desires and needs and live for Him and for others.

John ends this chapter with another one of God's many promises...

"Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us." 1 John 3:24