Keep the Faith
Father, help me hear the stirrings of change and growth You plant in me. Above all, I want to follow You.
Read 1 John 5:1-12
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.
Meditate on the Heidelberg Catechism’s first question: “What is thy only comfort in life and death?” Answer: that I “belong unto my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”
God identifies us as liars if we claim to love him but fail to love others (1 John 4:20). We call God a liar if we do not believe his claims about his Son (10). God’s testimony about Jesus is captured by images of water and blood, commonly interpreted to refer to the baptism (water) and death of Jesus (blood). The Spirit comes upon Jesus at baptism and the Father affirms, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). The death of Jesus, far from being an ignominious defeat that God could never allow his true Son to suffer, is confirmed in the resurrection to be a cause for exaltation (Phil. 2:9). The same Spirit who descended on Jesus enables our complete agreement with God’s evaluation of his Son: we find him “precious” (1 Pet. 2:4). Rejecting the testimony about Jesus eliminates hope of life (12); a sharp challenge to those living in a pluralistic society.
Life in Jesus is transformational. Believing that “Jesus is the Messiah” (1) may sound rather academic, but there is nothing text-bookish about the necessary outcome: loving God’s family (1b). No claim to orthodox belief stands up if we fail to relate lovingly to fellow Christians. John goes further: knowing Jesus transforms duty and drudgery into willing obedience (3). Taking up our cross and following Jesus is not always agreeable, but every Christian is marked by an inward longing to bring pleasure to their Lord, and true Christian faith perseveres. When one believes the testimony of God, it trumps every other claim (4,5). So, despite all the world’s counterclaims to authority, truth and value, the believer will never go back on God’s evaluation of his Son.
Pray that friends and family who are finding following Jesus burdensome and may be in danger of being overcome by the world will have a fresh appreciation of the value of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, I know You are love-driven and You demand that I be love-driven, too. I want to love and obey You and love others. I need Your help.
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