“We’re telling you in most sober prose; we saw it, we heard it, this experience of communion. Your joy will double our joy! 1:1-4 (bits and pieces)
- I love the way John approaches this letter so humbly. This is how I want to approach people as I attempt to introduce them to Christ. The fact that one friend would accept Him, is that double joy.
“if we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God” 1:8; 10
- Father remind me that I’m on a journey and I will never “arrive”. I’ll always be dealing with sin in my life help me to have the strength and discipline, and realize I’m never beyond that.
“anyone who claims to be intimate with god ought to live the same kind of life jesus lived” 2:6
- This is so where I’m at right now. If we truly read the Gospels, you weren’t hanging out at the synagogues you were hanging out at wells and the marketplaces. The more I draw closer to you the more I realize I will never be cut out to live my life in seclusion between four walls beckoning to the call of those already saved. I want to be hanging out with people who don’t know you – that’s what you would be doing!
“you know the father from personal experience. Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the father” 2:13; 15
- I pray that I do. Help me father not get focused on things and stuff. It is easy this time of year to get that way. Help me to focus on the eternal.
“but you belong” 2:20
- It’s like drinking a cold glass of sweet tea. So refreshing. Doesn’t everyone long for those words? No matter what rejection I have or people who don’t accept me for who I am, through you I’ll always belong because I’m your son.
“but they’re no match for what is embedded deeply within you” 2:26
- John speaks about false teachers. He states that if anyone rejects the claims of Christ they are this individual. I pray that I would hold so deeply to my convictions, that even when tested, I would not falter.
“we’re called children of God!” 3:1
- Once again Father, I can go on that the rest of my life. I am so saddened for those that were raised without a father or mother or both. I can’t relate to that. You gave me such loving parents that showed me such an incredible example. It’s so awesome to know you consider us your kids, even those that weren’t raised with loving parents.
“no one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin” 3:7
- Help me to evaluate every area of my life and confess my sin and not make a habit out of it. I need your help and can never do it on my own, if I do, I’ll slip every time.
“anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer” 3:15
- Wow, I’ve read this many times before but every time I read it, it grips me. I love my earthly brother and sister so much and nothing they do will ever stop that. I’m grateful that in times past, even when there was hurtful words or actions, we were able to forgive. Help me to look upon my other brothers and sisters out there and never have that strong of feeling toward anyone!
“we ought to live sacrificial for our fellow believers, not just be out for ourselves” 3:16
- This is hard. I find myself wanting to give all sacrifice to those that perhaps aren’t yet believers. Help me with this one. Give me patience for those in my church. I do love them.
“lets not just talk about love; let’s practice real love” 3:18
- Right on John. My desire is to reach out and serve people in practical ways. I’ve grown tired of drifting through my life and hearing sermon after sermon, nothing changing. I can’t change others, but am focused entirely right now on moi.
“for god is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves” 3:20
- Thank you father for caring so much that you do this.
“don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world” 4:1-2
- Scary. But it is a reminder to me to test everything I hear and make sure it lines up with scripture. Just because someone has been a believer for a long time or has a respected position I still want to make sure it lines up. Several years back Amy and I went to a service of a well-known preacher and left thinking, “that just didn’t quite line up”.
“for the spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world” 4:4
- Father help me to grab this and let it give me such a confidence. Whom shall I fear when you’re on my side?
“so you can’t know him if you don’t love” 4:8
- John wrote the word “love” over and over. He had to write three letters to get his point drilled in. Help me to love with my attitude, words, and action to everyone I come across. Even if it’s a simple smile and hello.
“there is no room in love for fear, well-formed love banishes fear. fear is crippling” 4:18
- This reminds me of verse 4. when I have so much of you in me, I shouldn’t care what anyone thinks. Usually we aren’t afraid of things as much as people’s reactions to us. Help fear to never cripple me, but cause me to do the opposite. Help me to change my thought life. I’ve heard psychologists says there’s over 2000 fears known. We’re only born with two, the fear of loud noises and falling, the rest are learned.
“if he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? Loving God included loving people” 4:20-21
- It’s so hard to hear and grasp. I can think of people who I just don’t like naturally. I struggle with people who know you, but yet don’t seem happy and never smile. Help me to love them anyway, does that mean I have to like them? But if I don’t like them, how can I love them?
“and how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that we’ve asked for is as good as ours” 5:14-15
- Thank you Jesus that I can know every time I pray and talk to you, that you listen and hear me. You care and are concerned and I’ve got to trust that you will do your part.
“anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ walks out on God.” 1:9
- I admit immediately that I am a progressive thinker. I am constantly thinking of ways to do something better. Help me to keep my foundation the same. The message will always be the same, but the delivery and style might not.
“I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health – that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!” 1:2
- This is such the prayer I pray over my family and friends daily. So now today I pray over them that they would have favor, good health and protection, love in their marriages and families, and that they would fall more in love with you today! Amen.
“when you extend hospitality you make the faith visible, in providing meals and a bed we become their companions in spreading the truth” 1:5; 8
- This is where I’m at father God. Help me any chance I get to do this. Thank you that I’ve had opportunities recently to back this. Even though I know John was talking about fellow believers I want to do this to those that are not as well, even more so.
“diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrated my counsel, spreading vicious rumors. If that weren’t bad enough, he only refuses hospitality to traveling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. model the good. Everyone has a good word for Demetrius – the truth itself stands up for Demetrius” 1:9-12
- All I can say father is help me to have a Demetrius spirit. I don’t know a lot about these guys, but never want to be negative, critical, get in the way of others. At times I know I’ve been guilty. It makes me sick to think of situations growing up in church where I saw this garbage. It’s never been pleasing to you and never will be. All I know is I want to be far from that as possible, it’s not worth the time or energy!