The Real Deal
Lord Jesus, I join today with all those in heaven and on earth who joyfully proclaim “Christ is Lord.”
Read 1 John 5:13-21
 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.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.  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.  All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.  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.  We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.  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.  Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 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 are the things John says we "know"?
As this letter closes, John still has a lot he wants to say. There are things he has said once already, but wants to underline one last time. Look at vs. 18,19 and 20: “We know ….” There are other things he has forgotten to say earlier, for example his instructions on prayer (14-17), especially for those in danger of losing their faith. But perhaps the strangest verse is the last, v. 21: “Keep yourselves from idols.” What an odd way to end! John, in all likelihood, wrote this letter from Ephesus. Looking out of his window, the city skyline was dominated by the temple dedicated to the goddess Diana, also known as Artemis. John was well aware of the danger posed by false teaching and false gods, but he is saying something more than just “stay away.” He is saying: “Don’t accept substitutes. Don’t settle for second best. Only the real thing will do.” Today the uniqueness of Jesus, the eternal Son of God, is under attack. But he is the only one who can show us what God’s love is really like. The Christian life calls for real commitment. Anything else just isn’t the real thing.
In your Christian life do you ever settle for less than the real deal? If so, how? What should you change?
Lord, I don’t want to settle for anything less than a real, true faith in You to lead me through life.