I have been going through a study of 1 John with the New Living Translation study group on Facebook. It’s a revolutionary way to study the Bible in the 21st century. I love it. I’m learning that truth is death.
Here are six things that caught and captured my attention going through 1 John 2:
#1 – When we struggle with the Christian life we have an advocate. “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous” (1 John 2:1, NLT).
Question: Did you know you had an advocate?
#2 –Jesus is the true light. “Jesus lived the truth of this commandment (to love one another), and you are also living it. for the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8, NLT).
#3 – What do you crave? “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world” (1 John 2:16, NLT).
Question: What kind of cravings are good?
#4 – People are going to leave church (fellowship). “When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us” (1 John 2:19, NLT).
Question: What does that mean? Seriously. I want to know!!! I know I am praying for a few people who are in danger of leaving or have already left the church…ahh my heart!!
#5 – John wrote so we could know truth. “So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies (1 John 2:21, NLT).
Question: Do you know the difference between truth and lies?
#6 – Remain. Remain. Remain. Remain (2 John 2:24 (twice), 27, 28, NLT). Using the NLT Interlinear I was able to find some really powerful spiritual truths for our lives:
First: Remain translated in the Greek is “μένω (meno, 3306)”:
[a] lasting, [he] remained, [while] remaining, an enduring [one], are waiting, are you staying, continues, does remain, he remained, he remains, he stays, he was living…
Did you catch that? He was living. I cannot believe it, but remain is also found in John 11:5-6. “So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days.”
Lazarus died during those two days.
Question: What things in your life are you currently dying to?
Remain where you are. Isn’t that the single, most powerful and yet impossible task Jesus gives us? And not only that but Jesus was given…
The same Greek word remain is also found in Matthew 26:38, “He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me'” (NLT).
Jesus died for us. Not only does Jesus ask us to remain through difficult circumstances, He lived it also!
Therefore…”This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:15-16, NLT).
Help us in our unbelief. There are cravings of the flesh that tear us apart. Show us the truth from the lie, and may we understand our unique place in the Kingdom of God as Your child. Help us to remain in fellowship with You so that when You return, we will be full of courage and not shrink back from You in shame. Amen.