Lord, may the light of Your Word enlighten my mind and heart today as I read and study it now.
Read 1 John 2:1-14
 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.  We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.  Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.  Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.  Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.  Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.  Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.  I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.  I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.  I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat "test" of our relationship to Jesus is given here?
John now enlarges on the message he gave in yesterday’s reading. First, Jesus’ death upon the cross is the atonement for our sins and the sins of everyone in the world (2). Second, obedience is the key to knowing Jesus (3). John speaks very plainly when he says that those who do not obey Jesus’ commands do not know him, whatever they may say (4). If we say that we love Jesus, that he is Lord of our lives, then we must live and behave as Jesus did (6). John is talking directly to you and me as “his children,” however old or young we may be, whether we are male or female (12-14). In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus gives us the two great commandments: love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. This is not the love which is all hugs, kisses and decorated hearts, but a deep commitment of our will. Such commitment brings a willingness to be obedient to God’s will. Then, when we “walk as Jesus did” (6), we will be seen to be in the light and in fellowship with him.
How well do you pass the “test” referred to above? In what ways? How could you achieve a “higher grade”?
Father God, please help me to enlarge my heart and so love my neighbors, wherever and whoever they may be.
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