May 6, 2019

Today you should read: 1 John 1:5-10

We are walking through one of the most helpful books in the Bible in terms of creating a solid foundation for Christian belief in practice. In just a few verses today, we see 3 of these solid principles.

God is the standard for holiness. 

God is the light! There is no darkness, nor shred of sin or evil in His character. We must begin here because God is the creator of all things and in him, all things hold together. To read the Bible and miss God is to miss the Bible. The Bible is a book for us, but it’s not a book about us, it’s a book about God. God is also the standard by which we compare ourselves to. Being a better person, having less sin than your neighbor or classmate isn’t the goal; God is the goal. He must be our standard for holiness.

If you say you know God and you must walk with Him.

The Christian life is not a bilateral journey; we must have a singular focus on walking with God every day. True saving faith in Christ cannot be earned by our works, but it is shown to be true by our works. Simply put: you can’t have it both ways. You can’t live in unrepentant sin and have true saving faith in Christ. This doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect, but you do need to be repentant.

Deal honestly with your sin in a way that leads to repentance.

1 John is all about how to know if you are really saved or not. One of the marks of being saved is that you have a right understanding of your sin. Like I said above, this doesn’t mean that you are perfect, but it means you understand that you are a sinner, that your sin is powerful, and that it has dire consequences for your life. Therefore, you are on a life long journey to seeing sin decrease and godliness increase in your life.

Which of these three principles stand out the most you?

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate

June 11, 2015

Today you should read: 1 John 5:13-21

In all the Bible there may not be a more clear description of who Jesus Christ truly is, and what that means for us, than in the book of 1 John. In John’s concluding remarks here in chapter 5 he tells us his reason for writing this book:

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

John says that not only can we hope to know we will receive eternal life through Jesus; we can fully know it and be assured of that salvation! Not because we feel saved one day and another day we don’t. Not because we do good works one day and then mess up and sin another. The assurance of our salvation doesn’t rest upon how we feel we are doing in God’s eyes. According to John the assurance of our salvation comes from:

Believing in Jesus as God’s Son and placing our faith in Him:

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.

Confessing our sins to Jesus:

1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Repenting of our sins and turning from our old way of life:

1 John 2:15 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them.

Showing the love of Jesus to others through sacrificial living:

1 John 3:16 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Being a testimony to others through the saving power of Jesus in our lives:

1 John 5:10 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

Not only does John confirm that we may know assurance of our salvation through Jesus in these ways, he also tells us that we can boldly approach our heavenly Father in prayer with confidence that He hears us.

1 John 5:14-15 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

One important note here is that John says “if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” Meaning that not everything we ask for in prayer is always God’s will. But, he’s also not telling us we have to worry about whether or not what we’re praying is God’s will or not. The longer we walk with Jesus and the closer we grow to Him, His desires will become our desires. As a result, our prayers will reflect the desire for God’s will in our lives, and in everything we pray for. So, as we seek Jesus with our whole hearts, we are transformed from the inside out, given a new heart, with new desires, and we can walk in the light of Christ with confidence knowing that His power lives in us!

Do you know Jesus? Have you placed your faith in Jesus?

If so, are you walking in the light of Christ that He has called you to?

Spend some time in prayer today thanking Jesus for your salvation and asking Him to continue to make His desires yours!

Posted by: Matt Mofield

June 10, 2015

Today you should read: 1 John 5:1-12

There is so much here in today’s reading that we could discuss but as we get close to the end of 1 John it seems John is trying to send a clear message to the readers:

In Jesus you have so much so have faith; trust and obey

John tells us about 3 main things we have through our faith in Jesus.

1. Relationship to God- because of Jesus we move from enemy of God to child of God
2. Victory in battle over sin- we can only overcome our sin with the power that comes from faith in Jesus
3. Eternal life in heaven- through our faith in Jesus we have true life; eternal life forever with God

There is so much more we have through our faith in Jesus but what I want us to leave with this question in mind:

Where does my faith lie? Is it in Jesus or something else?

If your faith is in Jesus then all these things and more are yours. If it is not in Jesus then you don’t have these things in your life. So where are you with Jesus?

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

June 9, 2015

Today you should read: 1 John 4:7-21

Love is such a fickle word in the world today. It’s tossed out when talking about the food we posted on social media at lunch yesterday or the movie we saw this past weekend. We use it when talk about our sports teams or our hobbies. We’ve used in when talking about relationships and friendships that have sometimes disappointed us later. What exactly is love anyways? Today’s scripture shows us that love is beyond all of these examples because the author of love is God and He provides the greatest example of love in His Son. He starts off by encouraging us to love one another as Christians and then defines that love by starting with Himself. He next says one cannot truly know what love is without knowing God. Sorry but this means that Taylor Swift or the latest Nicholas Spark’s movie/book is not the greatest example of love unless it starts with God. And what’s the example of love that He gives us since He shows us that He’s the author of it?

[10] In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(1 John 4:10 ESV)

His example is that He loved us first and what His Son did on the cross to save us from our sins as a substitutionary atonement. To know what love is we need to know that God loved us first as the author of love and true love is sacrificial love rooted in Jesus as we abide in Him. If we don’t view love the way God described it then we will see that the worldly love we are used to will leaved us disappointed and fearful. This is also why the apostle John says that God’s perfect love casts out fear and punishment. We yearn for love but get an artificial type from the world. Experience true love that only a perfect loving God can provide.

Posted by: Erik Koliser