This is the last week of the Community Bible Experience. I know that many of you who follow this blog are not doing the CBE (I am doing it as part of my church's all church journey); however, I hope that by reading through these posts you have had an opportunity to see how rich the New Testament is. With reading so much in one setting, it has been impossible for me to be able to write about every detail I read, but I have been writing about some points that seemed to be highlighted in my heart. God gave us so many treasures in the Bible, and it has been wonderful to get a big picture view of the New Testament over these eight weeks. There have been so many new things I learned by broadening my view and it has been absolutely amazing! Today's reading took me through 1, 2, and 3 John, and once again it was so good to read through a get the big picture in these letters.
1 John has a few main themes going through the letter, but there was one theme that remained constant throughout the entire letter: this is what it means to be a child of God. He explains the message of Christ's sacrifice for us, but he spent quite a bit of his time explaining what that means for us. He spent time drawing a line in the sand for us: if you are a child of God then this is what you should do. Do you live in the darkness and follow the world, or do you live in the light where God is? He clearly sums up in a small letter what it means if we claim to know God. He tells us that if we know God then we will follow His commands (which are not burdensome because God gives us all we need to keep His commands). He tells us that if we know God then we will live a life of love because God is love. If you love God, then the world will hate you. If you know God, then do not follow the teachings of the world.
John drew the line and it is challenging to read through as we examine our own hearts. Do I live as one who knows God; as one who is His child? But that is the wonderful thing that John reminds us in this letter - the forgiveness we have received through Jesus. 1 John 1:9 (NIV) says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 2:1-2 (NIV) says, "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." I don't know about you, but this motivates me all the more to start again today to live the life that pleases God with the help from the Holy Spirit. Jesus is my atoning sacrifice and I have received forgiveness, so I should live a life that shows the light that is living in me. I need to walk in the light because that is where God is!
Do you choose darkness or light?
This post is linked with Sharing His Beauty.