Today is day 5 on our journey through the book of 1 John! If you are just now joining us, grab a reading guide here and catch up on the blog posts! Let’s eat the Word of God everyday together.
Reading: 1 John 2:12-17
Receiving a hand-written letter in the mail is one of my favorite things. It’s a sweet, simple joy to open the mailbox and find a treasure amidst the trash and junk that usually come. Each day my husband and I sort out what’s important and what isn’t important in the mail. Some immediately is thrown into the trash, some is put in a pile by our keys and the very special pieces of mail go with my Bible. I love opening mail from friends I have never met in person. Even seeing their hand-writing gives me a glimpse into their heart. Hand-written letters are more than paper. They are love, truth and encouragement woven together through pen and ink.
The letter of 1 John was no doubt a hand-written letter. It was sent to the believers to read, to hold and to cherish the words. John clearly loved the believers he was addressing in this letter. Like a father and close friend, he reminded them of Gospel truth. Read verses 12-14 and put your name in the place of “little children”, “fathers” and “young men.” What do these verse remind you of?
“I am writing to you, ______________, because…”
- …your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. (Can I get a HUGE amen?! Your sins are forgiven not because of what you have done, but because of what Christ has done for you. It is all for the glory of HIS name.)
- …you know him who is from the beginning. (Who is from the beginning? Go back to 1 John 1:1. Christ has always been and was from the beginning.)
- …you have overcome the evil one.
- …you know the Father.
- …you know him who is from the beginning. (I get the feeling he is trying to engrain this truth in the minds of the believers. Maybe you need a reminder as well that Jesus was, is and is to come.)
- …you are strong…
- …the word of God abides in you…
- …you have overcome the evil one.
How many of you read these verses and noticed the “you’s”? John was not emphasizing that the believers were strong or knew the Father or had overcome the evil one because of their own strength. The Bible makes it clear that without Christ we can do nothing. We did nothing to have forgiveness of sins. We are not strong enough to overcome the evil one. We cannot know the Father without Christ making a way. We cannot be strong without the truth of God dwelling within us and making us strong. To summarize this text, we cannot do anything apart from Christ.
Everyday I fail. I give into sin in some way, shape or form and realize once more that I desperately need the Gospel! John told us, believers, to not love the world because it is passing away, but to do the will of God. If I could say that I do this perfect every single day, I would be lying to you. No one can do the will of God by their own strength. That should be a freeing sentence for you to read. Anytime we try to go through life doing God’s will in our own strength we fail. We NEED Him to be in us what we cannot be without Him.
Adam and Eve surrendered to temptation in the Garden (Genesis 3). They allowed the “desires of the flesh and the desires of the eye and the pride of life” to overcome the truth that God has instilled in them. You and I would have done the same thing if we had been in the garden with the serpent. Each day we have our own “garden” moments. Satan whispers into our ears “you aren’t good enough”, “you need that to be satisfied”, “you will never overcome that temptation”, “you are weak”, “God doesn’t care about you”, “you will never succeed like that person”, and on and on the list of lies goes. (Fill in the blank if yours wasn’t listed. We must name these lies to be free of them.)
We can choose to go back to the reminders that John told the believers. We can choose to recognize that without Christ we can do nothing. We can choose to run to the foot of the cross when we are weak with comparison, jealousy, discouragement and worry. We can choose to pour our hears before Christ and let the truth of His Word fill us up again. We can choose, sisters.
If you are feeling weak, weary and worn-out today, come to Jesus. If you are feeling like you can’t overcome the envy within you, the comparison within you, the doubt within you and the lies within you, know that you can’t apart from Christ. We need to daily come before Him and ask Him this:
Be in me what I cannot be….
I cannot be a good wife apart from Christ. I cannot accomplish God-sized dreams apart from Christ. I cannot be content where I am with what I have apart from Christ. I cannot overcome lies Satan plants in my heart apart from the Word of God within me. I cannot do anything apart from Christ (John 15:5).
Abide in Him today, sister. Let’s be what we cannot be apart from Christ in us.
abiding with you,