This week I have been reading in 1 John. The verse below makes understanding and reflecting Jesus’ love very simple in concept.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
But living out this verse, truly laying down our lives for the brothers, is more than a concept. It is costly and it varies from culture to culture and person to person.
Re-read this verse and take a few moments to think about it. Pray and ask the Lord for ideas as to what this might mean for you. Then do what you and the Lord think is right to serve someone or a group.
May each of us reflect the heart and example of Jesus who demonstrated love by laying down His life for us.
The Apostle John introduces us to the mandate of abiding (or remaining) in a state of fellowship with Jesus (John 15). This is a major emphasis of John’s writings.
I have long been captivated by his emphasis and find myself more focused on this as I get older.
John says this, “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (1 John 2:6).
To say, “I want to walk as Jesus walked,” is not arrogance or is it unattainable. Jesus asks us to be like Him, to walk like Him. He wouldn’t ask us to do this if it was not possible.
The reality is that we cannot do this in the power of the flesh. It is not attainable by human wisdom nor by intellectual or physical capacities. It is only attainable in the power of the Holy Spirit which indwells those who walk by faith in Jesus.
Though it is a much bigger discussion, 1 John provides evidence of abiding in Jesus compared to not abiding in Jesus. For now, we are just looking at this verse (1 John 2:6). The question is, “Am I walking like Jesus did?”
Take a moment and reflect on this verse. What does the Spirit bring to mind as you ponder how Jesus lived? What might He want you to repent of so that you might walk more like Jesus?
May each of us be, lead, treat people and walk more like Jesus.
King Josiah heard words of calamity for Judah due to the continual pattern of Israel’s rebellion and rejection of the Lord. Josiah responded in great repentance and humility. Here’s what the Lord said to Josiah.
“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD.” (2 Chron 34:26-27)
Then Peter brought these words to mind. “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pt. 5:5)
These and other passages provide a strong and clear mandate for our focus on and esteem of being humble. How do we do that?
Take a moment and reflect on these passages and ask the Lord to reveal how you have been proud. Ask the Lord what He wants you to do.
This morning I was reading and reflecting in 1 Peter. This passage jumped off the page:
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:17-19)
In this life, we are not home but we who are in Christ are in ‘exile’ awaiting our uniting with Him. Peter urges us to reflect on the fact that we have been bought with a price – a ransom – from this world. The ransom was paid by the eternal and lamb of God, Jesus Himself.
Take a minute to re-read this passage and ask the Lord to open your eyes to any conduct in your life not in alignment with our Lord. Confess whatever comes to mind and lean into Him for His grace to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of Him who called you into His own Kingdom.