Reading: 1 John 2:1-6
My husband and I recently planned an adventure trip to New York City to explore and visit some friends! Being a fashion-lover, I bought some brand new (super cute:) shoes to take with me to the fashion capital of the world. Within one day of wearing them, I was back to my chaccos and tennis shoes. My feet had blisters and felt like pins were going into them by the end of each day. I quickly learned that being able to walk well was more important than having fashionable feet.
Just like that, we spend so much of our days walking like the world. We strap on the shoes of the world, trying to fit in and accomplish things that have no eternal value. At the end of each day our feet end up with blisters, aches and pains that could have been avoided. Being a forgetful people, we need daily reminders of the grace of God as well as His calling to set-apartness. In 1 John 2:1, the apostle John reminds the people once more why he was compelled to write the letter:
“that you may not sin.”
John desperately longed for the believers to live holy, pure lives for Christ. However, he knew that even after salvation we still sin. My Bible study leader in college used the analogy of an umbrella to describe the life of a believer. The umbrella represents our salvation. The blood of Christ washes us completely clean and makes us a new creation. However, while we are still in our flesh we will still sin. As the rain falls down on our umbrella and bounces up underneath, that is sanctification. We are being made more into Christ each day until our glorious reunion with Jesus face to face in Heaven! John not only warns them not to sin and recognizes that they will sin, he gives them beautiful hope!
Jesus is our Advocate. An advocate is a legal term used to describe one standing in defense of another or pleading another’s case. The cross of Christ stands between us and the judgment of God. Jesus took our our penalty (that we rightfully deserved) so that we could have new life and a relationship with God. Let’s go through that one more time. Jesus, the only Son of God, left His throne to be born in human flesh, lived a sinless life and was killed by His own people. He took on the wrath of God so that we would not have to bear it. This is the beautiful Gospel John was reminding the church is our hope!
Followers of Jesus not only have hope, but they look different. You should look different than those around you because of the life you choose to live. Wearing chaccos in New York City definitely made me stand out as a tourist. (well, the backpack and camera bag and starry eyes probably did as well!) In 1 John 1:3-6, John reminds us that if we truly know God, we will obey His commandments. Ouch. We are a culture so infatuated with grace that we often forget we serve a holy God with perfect commandments. These commandments were designed by God to give us a fruitful, abundant life. In order for the love of God to be perfected in us we must walk as Jesus walked. And Jesus walked according to the commandments of God.
Jesus obeyed His Father and died a gruesome death on the cross for us. He walked in humility, serving others and emptying Himself (Philippians 2:5-10). He ate with sinners, loved the unlovable, healed the lame, touched the lepers, forgave the “unforgivable” and taught truth (even though it cost Him His life). Jesus discipled his followers well, loved his family well, honored God fully and rejoiced in the lost being found. Jesus walked according to the agape love of God. How do your feet look? Are you wearing the sandals of the world, or the “chacos” of Christ? Are you feet prepared to share the Gospel and love those around you? Or are your feet focused on glorifying yourself? Let us remove the sandals of the world from our feet today and walk like our Savior did. Walk like Jesus and show the world the glory of His name!
- Read Exodus 20, John 13:34-35, and John 15:10. What do these verses say about the commandments of God? What ways can you order your steps to obey the commandments of God?
unstrapping my sandals,