Are we worshiping God or do we have any idols in his place? Many times we take exception thinking that we don’t have any idols but the answer depends on what we call as an idol. Anything that robs the place of God is an idol. What is taking his place in our life? John in his closing remark warned about this subject to his audience and this can be a wake up call for us as well.
Prayer can mean many things to many people. For some, prayer is a tradition to be followed and for some it is the lifeline to communicate with God. What does it mean to you personally? When we pray, do we have confidence that our prayer is heard and will be answered? If we have this confidence, our prayer becomes a medium to fellowship with God rather than a tradition and it will remove our fears knowing God’s providence at work. How can we get this confidence? What is the basis of such confidence?
There is no pick and choose between love, faith and truth as a Christian. Hearing true gospel gives us the faith and this saving faith produces love in our life. John, known as the apostle of love talked a lot about loving one another in his first epistle. Today’s text from 1 John is the third time he expounded on this topic of love for our brothers and sisters. Eventhough he referred to loving others, there is an implied question, Do we love God? since loving others is an evidence that we love him as a child of God. What is our answer to this question? How can we know if we love God and his children? How is this love connected with faith and truth?
When we think of love, predominantly we think of romantic love or love across family, friends and other relationships. By nature, we have the capacity to love people in these circles. When walking as a follower of Christ, we are called to love one another with unconditional, sacrificial and selfless love which transcends our definition of love and extends to outside of these circles. Are we displaying such a love towards our brothers and sisters? Why does it matter? What is the source for this love?
God showed us his amazing love and called us to be his children. How can we know if we are living as a child of God? Just like children reflecting parents character, in the family of God there is this character of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ which is reflected from God and shared in the family. This shows that we are the children of God. How many of us really live by this as a child of God? Do we realize the necessity of brotherly love? Where can we learn this from? What are the blessings when we show genuine brotherly love?
We play different roles in life as a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife and so on. We know what it means to be in that role and the responsibilities that come with it. We are called the children of God. Do we have the realization of what it means to be a child of God? What difference it makes in our life? Are we living as a child of God?
Do you think you will be able to differentiate the weight difference between two objects? What if both are similar objects? Study shows that we can identify the difference when there is atleast 2 percent weight difference. We are living in times when false teachings are devised to look just like the truth but twisting the fundamentals of faith. The margin looks small for many to identify the truth from error. As Spurgeon rightly pointed out, we need to be able to discern truth from almost truth. Are we able to discern truth from error when we hear it? How can we identify and equip against such false teachings?
We love to grow in all aspects of life and take actions for the growth. Think about in our profession, how do we rate ourself? beginner, intermediate or an expert. We know the category we are in and know what is needed to move from one to the next level. Do we expect similar growth in our faith? Are we growing ? Do we know the category we are in and how to grow further?
Do you know Christ personally? How do you know that you really know him? These questions are vital to realize where do we stand in our walk as a professing christian. We need to know the true state to have assurance that we really know him in a personal relationship. This assurance gives us peace, joy, confidence in our walk and hope at all times. Do you have this blessed assurance? How can we know for sure that we have a real fellowship with Jesus?
Many of us do realize and accept that God gives the fullness of joy when we have real fellowship with him. In previous post (Fullness of joy), we read what John told about how to get this complete joy. After reading this text, we may wonder why then many do not have this joy? How many people we know are living in this fullness? If you answer honestly, it will be few. John has stated few of the reasons which will help us to know on why don’t we have this complete joy.