2012-08-05 - Blessings from our Heavenly Father
The Epistles of John ~ Part 52 ~ 1 John
On the other hand, we are blessed because we are believers. Too often, we take our salvation for granted. John had to interrupt himself with an exclamation of joy for the many blessings of God. We too must not forget these blessings, and we must express proper gratitude for them in our daily prayers.
We have received the gift of salvation. Therefore we can expect to spend eternity in God's presence. We look forward to the day Christ returns. We will no longer be beaten down by the suffering that comes with living in a fallen world.
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" (Revelation 7:17).
We can go to God our Father in prayer, as we saw in Matthew 6:9. He loves us and desires to meet our needs. (Remember that His primary concern is for our spiritual wellbeing, not our personal comfort.)
The believer, recognizing all God has done for him, should then in turn respond to God. We worship Him because of all He has given us. More than that, we desire to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. Our lives are acts of worship. The only question we must ask is: what kind of worship are we giving? We please God by obeying Him and keeping His word. The walk of the believer is to be one of separation unto God. Although we are in the world, we are not to be part of the world. Jesus prayed,
"My prayer is not that you take them (His followers) out of the world - but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world" (John 17:18).
We are God's representatives in this world. As such, our lives are to be different. So, not only are we to live righteously; we must also be careful to examine the lifestyles of those who claim to be fellow believers. In the coming studies, we will note John's concern that we not only love God and each other, but also take a personal, firm stand for God's truth. We must be willing to identify sin and call it such. We must be willing to recognize evil as evil, even when it comes in the disguise of righteousness.
Finally, as with Paul, John is talking about how believers, described here as little children are to function within a community. He is presuming no one is acting as a "Lone Ranger" Christian. The theological attacks that concern John come from those who have left the community. The distinction between the believing community and the groups led by these false teachers, is that the believing community is typified by love, how we care for, minister to and encourage one another. So let us always look for ways to minister to one another, to love one another. In doing so, we love and worship God.
I love you Love,