He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

Repentance is an essential part of our relationship with God.  It is not enough to simply believe in God, but when Jesus called anyone He called them to follow Him and repent.  We know that God is faithful and just to forgive us if we confess our sins.  God desires to pour His mercy and grace upon us.  He knocks on the hearts of people and those who respond to the drawing of the Holy Spirit are saved and redeemed.

But it is not by accident that we have come into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  We were chosen before the foundations of the earth.  The Lord has a specific plan and purpose for our lives.  No matter where we have come from we can know that if we have confessed our sins to the Lord that He is faithful and just to forgive us.

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Perfect love expels all fear

1 John 418

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

1 John 4:18 NLT

Perfect love is only found in Jesus Christ.  When we understand the love that God has for us we will not walk in fear.  God’s love is unconditional and eternal.  It is not based on performance nor based upon behavior.  Our Father in Heaven will discipline us when we do things and get involved in things that we shouldn’t.  But His love for us does not change.

One of the reason people walk in fear is because they are afraid of punishment.  There is a true judgement and punishment that awaits those who have rejected Jesus Christ.  Those who have rejected Jesus Christ will spend an eternity separated from God in the lake of fire in torment.  When we examine all that Jesus went through to save us we understand the full measure that awaits those who die apart from seek forgiveness from the Lord.

For us to fully experience God’s love in our lives it requires that we abide in Christ daily and draw near to Him.  He is the vine and we are the branches.  It is through Him that true life is found.  Every day we have the opportunity to draw near to the Lord.  The level at which we seek the Lord is the level at which we will understand His love for us.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:11-12 NIV

John writes that since God first loved us we should love one another.  The true mark of a disciple of Jesus Christ is someone who is filled with His love, grace, and mercy.  Simply carrying the title Christian means nothing.  Christianity requires action and everything we do should be from a place of God’s love.

When the love of God is manifested in our lives one for another the character and nature of God is on display.  Many will reject the existence of God and the truth of the bible, but what they can’t deny is a life that is transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.  God simply desires to use our lives to glorify His name so that others will be drawn to Him for salvation.

His desire is that none should perish, but all come to everlasting life.  In this hour in which we find ourselves upon the earth we know that our time is very short and His soon return is very soon.  There is coming a day when the judgement and wrath of Almighty God is poured out upon the earth.  Until that time may we be diligent students of God’s word and faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

May our hearts be consumed with His love and His grace.  Every opportunity we have may we lavish the love that God has lavished upon us on others.  There are so many who are broken and lost that surround us daily.  May we see the fields are ripe for harvest and be the generation of sons and daughters that God has called us to be.

We should love one another

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

1 John 3:11 NLT

Time and time again as we read through God’s word we see love talked about over and over again.  The word of God simply states that God is love.  God’s love is eternal and unconditional.  He desires to lavish His love upon us.  His love is not earned and is not based upon our performance or behavior.  He simply loves us because that is who He is.  Because of this we should love one another.

There are people in this world who are more difficult to love than others.  But that should not change our love for them.  If God’s love for us is not based upon performance or behavior, our love for others should not be based upon behavior or performance either.  We should simply love one another because Christ first loved us.  Jesus came and gave us a living example of how we are to live our lives.  In everything Jesus did He relied fully upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.  His life was built in the place of prayer.  May we simply follow His model and may our lives bring Him glory.  May our lives be flooded with His love, grace, and mercy.  May we lavish His love upon those who surround us daily who are broken and lost.

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

1 John 4:10 NLT

God first loved us.  Every single one of us who have come to Christ have done so by the grace and mercy of God.  It is the Holy Spirit who has drawn us and convicted our hearts.  We have done nothing to earn salvation.  God has saved us because of His love for us.  Our lives should reflect His love for us as we in turn love those around us.  So many in the world today are broken and hurting.  What will truly draw people to a relationship with Jesus Christ in this hour is the love of God at work in us.

So many today don’t believe in God.  The concept of a creator is rejected by many.  But what people can’t deny is the love of God.  When we choose to love the most unlovable person we are displaying the glory of God in us.  What truly brings glory to the name of Jesus is the love of God at work in us.  The love of God will drive us to take action.  It won’t allow us to simply sit on the sideline and watch people suffer and die in their sin.  It will drive us to reach out.  In everything Jesus did He was driven by love and compassion.  His heart broke for every person that He ministered too.  May we be His hands and feet in this generation.  May we speak the truth in love and do all things in love.  He is coming soon and may we take advantage of every moment we have around those who are lost and broken.

Jude 1-2: Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James

Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and [a]brother of [b]James, [writes this letter],

To those who are the called (God’s chosen ones, the elect), dearly loved by God the Father, and kept [secure and set apart] for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you [filling your heart with the spiritual well-being and serenity experienced by those who walk closely with God].  Jude 1-2

The one who wrote the book of Jude was the half brother of Jesus.  When Jesus was born Mary was a virgin.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit Mary became pregnant with Jesus.  But after Jesus was born, Mary had other children with Joseph and two of these children were James and Jude.

Jesus brother James wrote the book of James.  He was known as James the just and was a leader in the Jerusalem church.  Jude his brother wrote this letter and it was in defense of the truth and against the false teaching of the day.  Jude nor James believed Jesus was the Christ during his earthly ministry.  They actually believed He was out of His mind (Mark 3:20-21).  But we are told that Jesus appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:6-8) once Jesus had risen from the dead and we see from Jude’s letter that he also became a believer that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.

Jude writes this letter to those who are believers and followers of Jesus Christ.  We who have chosen to follow Christ were chosen first by Him.  We are kept by the grace of God and it is not based on our own strength or ability.  He has simply called us to draw near each day and abide in Him (John 15:5-8).  As we abide in Him we will continue to grow and experience the abundant life that Jesus proclaimed.

God’s mercy, peace, and love is only experienced by those who walk closely with Jesus Christ.  Our walk with the Lord is something we experience on a daily basis.  It is not an abstract concept nor simply theological in nature.  It is a living relationship with the Living God and the reason we experience God’s mercy, peace, and love when we walk closely with Christ is because His presence consumes our lives.  It is the Holy Spirit who fills us to overflowing and it is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.  So many miss out on all that God has for them because they simply fail to walk closely with the Lord.  They chase after things that have no eternal value and become distracted by the lies of the enemy.  When Christ is the priority and drawing near to Him is the driving force in our lives, we will experience all that Christ has for us.

1 John 5:21: Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—

21 Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—[false teachings, moral compromises, and anything that would take God’s place in your heart].  1 John 5:21

John’s last words is for us to guard ourselves from idols.  Idols not only include statues or images that people worship, an idol is anything that would try to usurp the supremacy of Christ in our lives.  Our jobs, money, sex, false teaching, and moral compromises can all become idols in our lives.  Jesus is not only to be Savior, He is to be Lord of our lives.  That means He has the priority in our lives and everything we do in our lives is done to continue to grow in our relationship with Him.  We are called to remove anything that would hinder our relationship with God.  As we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and walk according to the Spirit our hearts will be guarded from the lies and deceptions of this dark wicked world.

1 John 5:18-20: We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin

18 We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts]. 20 And we [have seen and] know [by personal experience] that the Son of God has [actually] come [to this world], and has given us understanding and insight so that we may [progressively and personally] know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.  1 John 5:18-20

If we are truly following Christ it is impossible to habitually sin.  Habitual sin is when we are living in sin and our lives are dominated by sin.  The reason this is not possible is because Christ has set us free from the curse of sin and death.  It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to walk in victory over temptation and sin.  The only reason a persons life will be dominated by sin is if they are failing to abide daily in Jesus Christ.  Failing to abide in the Lord is a recipe for disaster and destruction.

We who have chosen to follow Christ are sons and daughters of God.  The entire world is deceived by the power and deception of Satan.  The Lord by His grace and mercy chose to come to this earth and lay down His life.  To become flesh and blood, live without sin, and give His very life in place of our lives.  Those who come to Christ are set free from the darkness and wickedness of this world.  We will be hated in this world but we have nothing to fear.  In all that we will face the Lord will empower us and equip us to be victorious.  But the key is abiding daily in Him.

John actually saw the Lord and walked with Him during His earthly ministry.  John was a eye witness to all that Jesus did with the other apostles.  He was part of Jesus inner circle with James, and Peter and John knew Christ intimately.  John refers to himself in his gospel as the disciple whom Jesus loved.  John during the ministry of Christ was known as a son of thunder with his brother James.  But as you study all that John wrote in the biblical record it is clear to see how his life was transformed by the Lord because he often focuses on the love of God.

It is the Lord who gives us understanding and insight and we progressively come to grow in the knowledge of who He is and His kingdom.  Our growth with Him is progressive because as we come to study His word, we naturally grow in greater understanding of who He is.  It is only through Jesus Christ that eternal life is found.  For those who desire to follow Him they must deny themselves and pick up their cross.  The more we draw near the more we come to know Him and His heart.

 

 

1 John 5:16-17: If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death. There is a sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for this [kind of sin]. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death [one can repent of it and be forgiven]. 1 John 5:16-17

When we see fellow brothers and sisters in the faith walking away from the Lord and pursuing the desires of the sinful nature we need to pray and intercede for them.  Every time a person begins to wander from the truth they are being deceived by the enemy.  The enemy we face is a spiritual enemy and the way we are victorious is by waging spiritual warfare that happens through prayer.  We cannot idle sit by and watch people walk to destruction.  Too many instead of praying and interceding for them spend time gossiping about what they are doing.  John doesn’t designate what the sin is that leads to death but the only sin that would lead to death would be to fully abandon faith in Jesus Christ.  It is only through Christ we have a relationship with God and have the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

Sin is wrong doing and living contradictory to God and His kingdom.  The apostle Paul in the book of Galatians chapter 5 writes of the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.  The flesh and the Spirit are contradictory to one another.  Fallen human nature desires the sinfulness and wickedness of this world while the leading of the Holy Spirit draws us to the nature and character of Christ.  This journey we walk with the Lord is a journey that happens one step at a time.  We must pray for strength, wisdom, and understanding each day.  When we see our fellow brother and sister struggling we need to pray and intercede.  May we be a people filled with the love of Christ.  May His grace and mercy fill our hearts and drive every decision we make.

1 John 5:14-15: Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  1 John 5:14-15

We know that if we ask anything according to the will of God that the Lord hears us.  But the key is asking according to His will.  God’s plans and purposes are sovereign and He will never give us something in our lives that does not align with His will or will end up destroying us.  Sometimes our Father will simply say no and not tell us why He says no.  He simply tells us to trust Him and that His ways are higher than our ways.  But the way our desires align with the will of God is simply by abiding and growing in Him.  As we grow and abide we are transformed into the image and nature of Jesus Christ.  This simply means that our minds and hearts become one with His and we see the world as He sees it.  The very things we desire to pray are the very things that God desires to do in the earth.

Since we know He hears us we must go before His throne with confidence and without fear.  We must make prayer the priority of our lives.  Everything we accomplish on this earth is born out of prayer.  The Lord has simply told us we have not because we ask not.  Jesus told us that we must ask, seek, and knock.  Prayer is simply where the power of God is released into the earth and the Lord simply seeks those who will pray without ceasing.