Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Devotional Help: 1 John 2.3-11

1 John 2.3-11
3And by this we know that we know Him: if we would keep His commands. 4The person saying that “I know Him” and not keeping His commands is a liar and the truth is not in this person. 5But whoever keeps His word, truly in this person the love for God is completed, by this we know that we are in Him. 6The person who claims to stay in Him, just as That One walked, also this person ought to walk in that way.

7Loved ones, I’m not writing a new command to you, but an old command, which you’ve had from the beginning. The old command is the message, which you’ve heard. 8Moreover, I’m writing a new command to you, what is true in Him and in you, that the darkness is passing away and the True Light is already shining! 9The person claiming to be in the Light and hating his brother is still in the darkness now. 10The person loving his brother stays in the Light and there is nothing in him causing him to trip up. 11But the person who hates his brother is in the darkness and in the darkness he’s walking around and he doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness blinds his eyes.


1. All us, myself perhaps even more than most, have wondered. Do I know Jesus, or do I just know a bunch of stuff about Jesus. Is our relationship with Jesus real. John tells us how we can know if we don't really know Jesus. If we say we know Him, but don't do what He has commanded. We don't know Him. We are lying, first and foremost to ourselves, and then to those around us. "The Truth" (which is a way of saying a real relationship with the Truth, Jesus, based on faith and complete with correct doctrine) isn't in us if we say we know Jesus but act like we don't. The Truth refers to the Gospel message that we hold on to inside ourselves by faith, but the message also has commands in it, so that if we really hold onto the Truth, it changes the way we live, because we follow what it says. This shows that we really love God, which really shows us that we really know God. 

2. Loving God means doing what He says. If our love for God is complete, it compels us to obey His message by trusting in Christ our Eternal Life and following His lifestyle. The benefit of a love for God that spurs us to obey is that it shows us that we really know Him, that we are really deeply connected to Christ, that we are with Him. 

3. What should our lives look like if we have stayed with Jesus and not strayed from a close relationship with Him? Verse 6 tells us that our lives should look like Jesus' life. People should look at our lifestyles and look at Jesus' and see that we are living our lives just like He lived His, only in a different time period. 

4. There are two commands for John: the old one that we should already know was the message which we have already heard, which probably refers to the Gospel message, the Truth about Jesus and the command to follow Him. And the New One. Actually, I'm not sure what the new one is exactly. It is either "that the darkness is passing away and the True Light is already shining" in v.8 or "don't love the world or the things in the world" in v.15. The latter sounds way more like a command, but the explanation of the command in v.17 uses the same word for the word and its desires as  it does for the darkness in v.8. So perhaps the command  in v.15 and the statement in v.8 are connected somehow. In v.8, the statement surely has implications on how we live, but in v.15 perhaps John spells out the command behind the statement. I'm not quite sure, I'll have to keep thinking and praying about that. 

5. What is clear is that darkness is connected with hatred and shining light with love. Hating a fellow Christian shows that we are not really in the Light, because in fact it is the darkness that despises the light, the world that despises the Light, despises believers. 

6. The saddest thing is that the if we hate a fellow believer it means that we are in the darkness, that is, we are not with Jesus the Light. That means that just like people stumble around in the darkness not knowing where they are going, so too are those who hate their fellow believers. They are blinded by their own condition of being in the darkness. The saddest thing is that the person who is in the darkness doesn't even know. The person walking on the path of darkness doesn't even realize where that path leads. This is a strong and serious warning to us, we need to check our hearts for hate to see if we have been blinded. But if we have been, we can always come into the Light by faith in Christ and live His lifestyle. 


Abba, forgive me for not trusting you better and obeying completely! I know I've blown it, so please forgive me, because I haven't kept Your Word, Your Message perfectly. But I want to obey. I want to love You completely! I want to show You that I love You by obeying what Jesus has commanded! Abba, I am not sure what the second command is for sure, but I want to do it, so can you give me wisdom to understand what it is and how I can do it? Lord, I want my lifestyle to match Jesus' lifestyle, but I can't do it alone, so please help me! I want to walk in the True Light, and shine the True Light out of me. Take me further away from the darkness and unblind my eyes if they are blind! I confess that my hatred is more sinister, is more hidden, is more deep rooted. I hate people not with an active hatred, but usually with a passive hatred. A hatred that seeks to lift myself up, instead of lifting them up. I hate people I think usually by passing them by or by a cruel or prideful word. Lord, I know that my jokes are often perversely filled with pride and cruelty! Please forgive me! Lord, help me love my brothers and sisters in Jesus! Help me love You! In Jesus' Name, by Your Holy Spirit, I pray, for Your glory, Amen!

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