Yesterday, I issued a challenge at The Gathering to begin to get into Scripture. (Audio can be accessed through our website, the Sermon Audio page of this blog, or iTunes, if interested). Looking at the Model Prayer in Matthew 6, we have spent the last three weeks on verse 11: Give us this day our daily bread. This last look was at the spiritual implications of the verse. Because we often have such difficulty actually getting into the Word, my challenge was to read five verses a day in the Epistles of John (since that’s where we’re probably going next) between now and Christmas.
I thought I would jot down any quick thoughts or brief insights I had from the passages as we go along to hopefully provoke some thoughts for those reading along. Today kicks it off with 1 John 1:1-5:
I love this great apologetic in the first 5 verses of 1 John. One of the greatest proofs we have for the resurrection of Christ is the apostles, themselves. The fact that they lived such transformed lives AFTER the time of the resurrection of Jesus to the point of giving up their lives for Him is very strong evidence. It is one thing to die for what you believe to be true and what you know to be a lie. These guys would have known without question that Jesus was still dead if that were the case. Instead, they went from complete devastation after His death to complete and utter excitement and joy, being filled with power and action. Something had happened and there is only one thing that could have given them such enthusiasm for preaching about Jesus.
Here we have them saying, “Look, we experienced Jesus alive! We touched Him, experienced Him, learned from Him. This that we testify is true!” Further, they talk about the completion of joy through expression. We’re made that way. The greatest joy we experience is in telling someone else something great that has happened to us. It completes the joyful experience. We can experience this same joy through our following these apostles examples.
What is the message they proclaimed? God is perfectly holy which is great news to us all. In essence: He is good and He is in control. With that truth, we can trust Him and follow Him without reservation!