John is called the Apostle of love.
When he wrote this letter “many believers were conforming to the world’s standards, failing to stand up for Christ and compromising their faith.” (LAB Notes)
He wanted to point people back to the truth . . . reminding readers of God’s love for them, he wanted people to grow in their love for Him and for each other.
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.1 John 1:1–2
He had walked with the One who had shown them the Father’s love. He had been at the cross watching His outpouring of love. He had been with the risen Christ observing the fulfillment of the promise of God’s love. And he he wants people to live with joy.
We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.1 John 1:4
A joy that comes from knowing we are loved and forgiven.
Rev and I once had a new Christian tell us, “I have stopped sinning.”
While it was absolutely true that the Holy Spirit was at work in him, guiding him to become a very devoted follower of Jesus. Sin is a struggle you and I will continue to have in this life.
John took the direct approach with false teachers who were trying to ignore or deny the issue of sin.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.1 John 1:8
If you’re like me, you’re painfully aware of your ongoing struggle with sin. My thoughts, words, attitudes . . . whew!
I can completely relate to Paul’s frustration when he wrote…
I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.Romans 7:18b–19
Thank God . . . through John, we have good news:
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.1 John 1:9
God’s love takes our confession and repentance and covers it with grace, mercy, and love. And I think that’s an awesome reason for us to live with joy!
A Prayer to Celebrate God’s Forgiveness and Love
and Live with Joy
Father, thank you for Your Word and the writers who faithfully remind me of Your gracious love. Thank you for people like John who were able to give us first-hand accounts of Jesus, the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thank you for showing us Your LOVE through Him.
I want to show my love for You by following Your will and obeying your commands but I think things and I say things I shouldn’t. I fail to say things I should, I do things I shouldn’t and I fail to do the things I should. And I don’t love the way You want . . . I don’t love like Jesus. Please forgive me.
Your Word says that when I confess my sins in the name of Jesus, You forgive and cleanse me (1 John 1:9), that You remove them as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), and that You remember them no more (Hebrews 10:17) And those are the perfect reasons for me to live with joy every day. Through Jesus, You have promised me a future filled with hope . . . a future with You in heaven forever. Through Your love, I have everything I need for every moment of my life. Thank you! Please help me grow in grace and love that I might humbly serve and glorify You. Amen.
Whatever you are struggling with today. Whatever burden is weighing you down. Whatever guilt you’re carrying . . . give it to Jesus, who said:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
Jesus has promised to replace our burdens with love, freedom, peace, and purpose. He calls you beloved, redeemed, chosen, masterpiece, friend, and free.
Those are some pretty awesome reasons for you (and me) to live with joy every day.
On today’s note write:
Because of Jesus, I can live with joy every day. I am loved, forgiven, and free!
May God bless you today as He encourages you with His love.
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