Lord, make the Bible real to me today. Show me myself as I really am and show me Yourself as You really are.
Read 1 John 5:13–21
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. 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.
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectIs your faith genuine?
“Keep away from fakes!” could hardly be a more suitable ending to this letter. All along, John has been wanting authenticity. He is looking for children of the true God believing in the real Christ, following genuine Christian teaching and showing practical love to their brothers and sisters.
John also wants them to have a sound confidence in Christ, and to know that the Son of God has given them eternal life (13) and does protect them in the world from the evil one (18). He wants their confidence to be in God who hears and answers prayer (14,15). Although some of the language may seem obscure to us, verse 16 begins with a wonderful promise to keep on praying for those who have apparently rejected the faith. God does hear. The faithful praying for a son or daughter or friend sometimes sees its reward decades later!
John can’t resist a final warning against us kidding ourselves: all wrongdoing is sin, however Christian we may think we are (17,18). But the Good News is gloriously true. If we know the true Christ, then we know the true God, and this is eternal life (20), as Jesus said Himself (John 17:3).
Is there anyone in particular you know who has turned away from God in some way? Commit to pray for them this week and to keep your eyes open for ways to encourage them toward Christ.
My Jesus, I am so thankful that You hear my prayers. Touch the hearts of my loved ones today, that they may truly see You.