John – God and Love
We humans love being the elite ones “in the know” about what others merely wonder about in this life. We want to be the ones with the scoop about popular topics in our culture with the “real truth” of what is happening in our world. We readily tell what we know about others based on hearsay and opinion (AKA gossip) because we feel more powerful and important in knowing what others do not know.
Guilty as charged. This is fake power. Useless power. Instead, I want to know God, His Son and know the full extent of His love, His plan and purpose, His wisdom, insight and understanding for life. John begins to tell us how to really know God in his first letter. The information in this letter is not so we can judge others. This is for individual introspection and inspection of our knowledge of God. John, inspired by God, Himself, tells us the only way to know we’re IN God. If we take this to heart we will be more “in the know” about God. We will know God and be in God, with God and filled by God.
1 John 2, The Message
1-2 I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s.
The Only Way to Know We’re in Him
2-3 Here’s how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments.
4-6 If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.
7-8 My dear friends, I’m not writing anything new here. This is the oldest commandment in the book, and you’ve known it from day one. It’s always been implicit in the Message you’ve heard. On the other hand, perhaps it is new, freshly minted as it is in both Christ and you—the darkness on its way out and the True Light already blazing!
9-11 Anyone who claims to live in God’s light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It’s the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.
–Am I “in God”, knowing God, and keeping His commandments? Am I a liar?
–I must look in before looking out. When I look out, it is not to judge, but to relate to others with the love of God in me.
–Does my behavior reflect what I say I believe about God?
–Does my life match my words about God?
–Am I blocking the Light of God from others by my behavior?
–Do I spend time overthinking, worrying about the small stuff with debilitating anxiety about future stuff instead of trusting God fully?
–Am I ready (in all ways) to go when God invites me to join Him in His work?
–Jesus solved our sin problem for good.
–Repent and be saved. This is God’s plan to bring us back to Him. This is the place to begin.
–Grow and mature in our love for God and others. To be intimate with God is to live like Jesus taught us to live.
–Know God. Know Love. Love God. Love Others.
–Know and live out His commandments to mature in His love.
–Love God. Love others like He loves us. (Yes, I am repeating.)
–God created us. He loved us first before we thought about loving Him back. He wants the best for us. Trust God….for everything.
–God never changes in His love for us. It is unconditional.
–God’s promises are true.
–God never leaves us where we are. His Holy Presence is with those who believe and welcome Him.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you. May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in every detail of my life. Give us this day time to reflect, repent, evaluate and repent some more. Be our strength and our song all day long. Be our wisdom, insight and understanding. Help us to be “in the know” about You and grow in Your love.
In Jesus Name, Amen