Take 1 minute to read the scripture Take 1 minute to read the thought Take 1 minute to think about them Take 1 minute to pray Take 1 minute to finish your coffee
1, 2, 3 John
Week 41 Day 1
Reading: 1 John 1:5: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” NIV
Thought: The passing of this message over the centuries has been passed to you. From those that were with the Light to us. Much like the lighting of a candle from another flame the message of the Light of the world reaches us. John was one of the few remaining people alive who had been with Christ and his joy was to share this Light and the knowledge of the Light. His proud announcement was that he had seen the Light, announcing that pure Light, pure goodness, pure love was found in God alone. That God defined purity, goodness and love. That God had within him no fear, no death, no malice, no unkindness and no darkness. John had seen Christ and thus had seen the Father because of Christ. John wanted to be with the Light and encouraged all who would hear to walk in the Light.
Prayer: Lord, help me to walk in the Light and not in darkness.
Day 2 Reading: 1 John 2:1: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” NIV
Thought: There are two words in this verse that tell us something of the work of Jesus. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus the righteous. It is the blood of Jesus, the voice of Jesus, the covering of Jesus and the help of Jesus that presents us justified before the Father in heaven. He comes alongside us, He comes to help us, He comes to save us and He comes to intercede on our behalf because He loves us. Jesus is also the propitiation for our sins; He received the charge, the penalty of sin, and He therefore satisfied the justice of God. We are upheld, saved and presented faultless before the Father. What a wonderful saviour, what a wonderful love he has for us and what a wonderful God.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being both my advocate with the Father and for being the propitiation for my sin.
Day 3 Reading: 1 John 3:1a: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” NIV
Thought: Children are dependant, need their parents, are wise to heed the words of their parents who seek to help them and protect them. Children do not know best, do not have all the answers, have much to learn and are far from tall enough or strong enough to take on all the challenges of life. Children capture wonder, see the joy in moments and depend heavily on the love of their parents. We are children of God, not adults but children. You will always be a child to God, there is such beauty in that and a sustaining reason to not become proud or independent. The fact is, you will never be independent from God and as His children you belong to his family. People who do not know your Father in heaven will not understand what it is to be in His family and will not understand why you depend on Him as you do. But depend you must, because you know that your Father in heaven is good, faithful, wise and able to sustain you through all things.
Prayer: Father, is it ok if we just sit together for a while? I could use the company and I would enjoy a moment of just embracing you as your child. Help me to trust you.
Day 4 Reading: 1 John 4:18a: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” NIV
Thought: There are many things in life that we would fear; sickness, threats, violence, exposure, spiders etc. These things are far worse if we feel alone, in many ways we could not cope and fear would overcome us. Fear threatens to destroy our peace, stop us from being able to act and steal away our rationality. We know however that love will never leave us; the Father loves us unconditionally and in this we are assured that we will never be alone and He holds us in His hands. The perfect love of God is so great that fear becomes irrational. God’s love brings an assurance and security so great and so strong that it practically hugs the spirit of fear out of us.
Prayer: Lord, when I am afraid; remind me of your great love.
Day 5 Reading: 1 John 5:14-15: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” NIV
Thought: Often mistakenly drawn from the Bible is the idea that we ask for anything in the name of Jesus and we will receive it. Often we pray and end our prayers with “in Jesus name, Amen” as if adding the name Jesus on our prayers convinces God that we are asking for good things. The bottom line is, to ask for something in the name of another is to ask for what they want not for what you want. We don’t use the name of Jesus like Mickey Mouse would use abracadabra. Prayer in asking for things is not like putting coins in a slot and pressing the code for the answer we want. God is not a process; God is a person who has a purpose and will, to treat Him differently is to show irreverence and disrespect, and to utterly miss the point of what it is to be in relationship with God as His child. John is very clear that when we ask for something according to the will of God, He hears us. We cannot know the will of God well without knowing God, it is essential to know God personally and that means walking and talking with him daily. To ask in the name of Jesus is to know Jesus, to ask according to the will of God is to know God. Faith is not in the answer to our prayers, but in the goodness and person of God to whom we pray; faith in His character, in His will, in what His name is and what His name means. So when you pray, read the Bible and involve God in your daily life, remember that you are getting to know God as a person and not just as a vending machine.
Prayer: Lord, help me to know you more and save me from seeing you as a prayer vending machine.
Day 6 Reading: 2 John 1:3: “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” NIV
Thought: The provision of God, the mercy of God and the peace of God will be with us. Such a blessed assurance that comes from knowing that there is a complete, whole and permanent restoration of our relationship with God. We are truly assured of these things because of His great love for us. God has done all things to restore us. Grace, that in all things God’s hand is with us, supplying all our needs according to His riches in glory. Mercy, that in all things the arms of God welcome us; having satisfied all justice because of Christ. Peace, that His smile and tender voice speaks over us and that His presence brings hope. What a truth and what a love we have found in Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, help me to walk in this truth; that you love me and through Christ you have shown your grace, mercy and peace towards me.
Day 7 Reading: 3 John 1:3-4: “It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” NIV
Thought: I can tell you now as a pastor that there is singularly no greater joy in my ministry compared to seeing those who I encourage going on with God; getting excited about their faith and stepping out in service of Jesus. Nothing warms the heart of a pastor than to see the fruit of faith in the lives of those they minister to. I well know what John is saying here. I love my church, I deeply love it; I love the people and I am like a proud father when I see the church rise up and live out their faith in Jesus and walk in truth. I’ve been brought to tears many times with sheer joy. They get it! They love Jesus too! They realise their potential and can see what I have been seeing! These verses tell us how much John loved the readers of this letter.
Prayer: Lord fill my life with joy, help me to inspire faith in those around me; teach me to love more deeply and to pour myself out in the service of others faith.