Tag Archives: 1 John

Daniel 7, 8; 1 John 5

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:13-15

 

My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. 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 what we’ve asked for is as good as ours. 1 John 5:13-15 (MSG)

There are many reasons why I tend not to ask for help. Sometimes, I think that I am capable of doing whatever it is I am trying to do by myself, even if it becomes too much for me to handle alone. Occasionally, I want it done in a particular way, and I am convinced that I am the only one who can do it up to my expectations. Much of the time, I am anxious that no one will want to or be able to help me, and so instead of having to experience feelings of disappoint and rejection, I just keep my needs to myself and struggle through.

Through experience, I’ve learned that when I actually do ask for help, about half the time, I am going to be let down. I have to remember to not take it personally, especially since more often than not it isn’t those people don’t want to help me, they just aren’t able to at the time because of what is going on in their own lives. And, I have to let my disappointment go so that I don’t fall into alignment with the enemy and contribute to disconnection in my relationships.

Here and there, especially those times when I have felt very reluctant to ask for help, I have been greatly and pleasantly surprised by the positive response and the overall outcome. And, when that happens, it is encouragement to ask for help again another time, confidence to be vulnerable and make my needs known.

As I have walked the path of being a believer, I have been learning that the One that I can ALWAYS trust to listen to my needs is Christ. I can cry out for help any time of the night or day and He will be there to listen to me, my frustrations, my anxieties, my fears. I know that He is trustworthy and reliable, and that His heart is for me and not against me. I feel free to ask Him for anything and everything, because I am assured time and time again that He loves me and He hears me.

I am blessed in those moments when I witness a positive and direct answer to my plea for help. I can also admit that there are times when I don’t love the answer that I’ve heard; and, there are times when I don’t hear an answer at all and I just have to wait. But, I am confident that no matter what, He will always answer my prayers, according to His will, according to what He knows is best for me.

Yesappa, Thank You for hearing my prayers, listening to my requests. Thank You for answering me whether the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘wait’. Thank You for allowing me to place my confidence in Your, in Your goodness and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 1 John, 66 Books, Daniel, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, New Testament, Old Testament

2 Chronicles 2; 1 John 2; Nahum 1; Luke 17

“The temple I build will be great, because our God is greater than all gods. But no one can really build a house for our God. Not even the highest of heavens can hold him.” 2 Chronicles 2:5-6a (NCV)

This past week, my husband has been away traveling to participate in graduation ceremonies to receive his Masters of Divinity (Congratulations Richard!) and to be a part of his best friend’s betrothal ceremony (Congratulations Anbu!).

This past week, I’ve had food poisoning…

Between acting referee to my children, listening to booboo bawls and squeals of delight, witnessing loving moments filled with hugs and kisses, trying to keep everyone busy, singing, laughing, playing, scolding for biting, for hitting, for drawing a mural on the wall with black crayon, handling one daughter’s teething pain and another’s fever and cough…I’ve been running to and from the bathroom praying that the hum of Pocoyo and Peppa Pig in the background will keep the girls occupied long enough to do my business in peace.

Throughout this week, I tried to stay on top of things. I tried to get things ready to pack for our visa-clearing trip to Sri Lanka next week. I tried to get the better of the never-ending mound of laundry, clarifying which items are clean and which are dirty after the girls mixed the two together. I tried to keep the living spaces in reasonable order, picking up toys and books, sweeping the floor at least once a day to prevent an army of red ants from coming to snack on the remnants of breakfast, lunch, and dinner that the girls pushed to the floor uneaten. I tried to manage the kitchen, doing the dishes once in five days, half of the contents of our kitchen piled up waiting to be scrubbed. I tried to make the bed…I tried to change out of my pajamas…I tried to take a ‘shower’…I tried to brush the rat’s nest out of my hair…Needless to say, best laid plans.

The Lord is good,

giving protection in times of trouble.

He knows who trusts in him. Nahum 1:7 (NCV)

In the midst, I pressed into God for His strength. I praised, scraping the bottom of my reserves offering my ‘widows mite’ of gratitude. I laid open my heart to Him, honest in my frustrations at feeling like a failure, like I can never accomplish the things I set out to do. I prayed for help getting through.

And, of course, the Lord is good. And, of course, He met me right there, in the middle of it all.

Some of the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the kingdom of God come?”

Jesus answered, “God’s kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you will be able to see with your eyes. People will not say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ because God’s kingdom is within you.” Luke 17:20-21 (NCV)

Once more, He reminded me that it isn’t about what I can accomplish in a day. It is about what He accomplished on the Cross. It isn’t about how clean my house is or how well behaved my kids are in any given moment or how put together I am (He doesn’t even mind my stinky breath or my BO). It is about His Kingdom, the Kingdom of the True Living God inside of me, flowing out of me.

But if someone obeys God’s teaching, then in that person God’s love has truly reached its goal. This is how we can be sure we are living in God: Whoever says that he lives in God must live as Jesus lived. 1 John 2:5-6 (NCV)

He reminded me that living like Jesus lived, means putting my complete trust in Him – trusting Him to give me the strength I need, trusting Him to support my perseverance, trusting Him to comfort, to heal, to protect, to provide, trusting Him to help make a way so I am able to finish tasks, trusting Him to help me love others, and even trusting Him to help me love Him.

He reminded me that in spite of it all, I prayed with my kids over and over again, reinforcing the importance of going to God for all of our needs. He pointed out that I shared stories from the Bible – The Beginning, Noah’s Ark, Moses, David and Goliath, Jesus’ Birth, Jesus’ Sacrifice – and found moments to teach the girls about how much Jesus loves them. He told me that coaching my daughters how to stand in His power against ‘monsters’ in the dark is preparing them for future ‘battles;’ it’s showing them that they can always trust in Him.

He showed me when trusting Him is the focus of my life, my children will benefit as I talk with them, walk with them, lie down and get up with them. His Kingdom will be established in their hearts and in our home, regardless of the chaotic and cluttered outward appearance.

And, that is when the messiness of life is beautiful.

Yesappa, Thank You for always meeting me right where I am every day. Thank You for being there for me, for giving me strength. Thank You for blessing me with children who help me remember that life is messy, but that life is beautiful in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 1 John, 2 Chronicles, 66 Books, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

Ezra 3, 4; 1 John 5

Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the altar at its old site. Ezra 3:3 NLT.

Some of the biggest moments of my life were in the midst of fear. Fear is my shame, and I try to hide it by smiles, but it seeps through my pores, and keeps me up at night with worry.

My daughter and I were en route to an event and she told me she was afraid, and I understood it too well. I don’t know if my advice was the best, but it was all I knew:

“Put a smile on your face, and do it anyway,” I said. Fear stops us from living, from moving on, from rebuilding. We looked at Christmas lights at dusk along the drive and I asked her, “What are you afraid will happen?”

I don’t think that half the time I can answer this question myself.

I suppose the enemies who opposed the rebuilding in Ezra had their own list of fears; their fear masked by anger and opposition. It put a halt on another’s rebuilding.

Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans. This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne. Ezra 4:5-5.

I think on whatever it is I’m afraid of, or the effects of another’s fear on me–the very limiting force of the enemy.

19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. 1 John 5:19.

I think of the walks I took to doors with gifts and goodbyes in hand, a smile on my face and fear seeping through pores and shaking my voice. Chapters closed with trembling fingers, and new ones were yet to be opened from the oppressive weight of what-if. Fear. Sometimes plans to rebuild are halted.

18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.

21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. 1 John 5:18-21

The verses above tell me not to be afraid, for the Son of God has come and holds me securely in his hands. And though evil comes so close, and I feel its haughty eyes upon me and hear its voice in my ears, God holds me closer. I can choose to live in fellowship with God, or listen to life-limiting lies from an evil one. Which will take up space in my heart?

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 1 John, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament

Ezekiel 45, 46; 1 John 2

 “‘A Message from God, the Master: If the prince deeds a gift from his inheritance to one of his sons, it stays in the family. But if he deeds a gift from his inheritance to a servant, the servant keeps it only until the year of liberation (the Jubilee year). After that, it comes back to the prince. His inheritance is only for his sons. It stays in the family.’” Ezekiel 46:16-17 MSG

When I was born into this earth, I was given gifts of God because He died for me while I was still a sinner. He offered me grace. I didn’t recognize its worth. I took advantage of it, used it, and thrust it back in His face. It was mine to use, but only while alive in this realm. This gift of unmerited favor was never fully mine.

And then, I was reborn into His Spirit. I became His child and He offered His grace again. I accepted His gift and I was given an inheritance I will never have to return. It is mine for eternity because I am a part of the family.

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. 1 John 2:15-17 MSG

The enemy doesn’t want me to walk in God’s grace, even though it is now my birthright. He does everything he can to try to take it away from me. He tempts me with worldly things and lures me into wrong thinking. He invites me to turn my back on my Father, believing that if I do, my inheritance is lost.

Sometimes I trip and fall, but like the prodigal son discovered, my Father will never leave me nor forsake me. Even though I may have run away in sin, when I face Him again with repentance and humility, I am welcomed with open arms and great joy. My position as daughter is redeemed and my inheritance is restored to me.

I am a coheir with Christ. I am a daughter of the King by spiritual birth. I am a princess. I am no longer a servant. When I stepped into the role of sonship, by believing in my heart and confessing with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, I stepped into a new set of rules, the new covenant. When I was a servant I was bound in sin; I had to work to prove my value. Now, as an heir, my value lies in the priceless blood of Jesus. I am forever accepted. My inheritance is eternal grace.

Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life!  1 John 2:24-25 MSG

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

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Filed under 1 John, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezekiel, New Testament, Old Testament

Numbers 35, Psalm 79, Isaiah 27, 1 John 5

Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake. Psalm 79:9

By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruitage of the removal of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones to be like chalk stones crushed to pieces, no Asherah poles nor incense altars will be left standing. Isaiah 27:9

Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites.’ ” Numbers 35:33-34

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1John 5:11

God had Israel set up cities of refuge to avoid needless bloodshed. Yet it was the sacrifice of an innocent, Jesus, that atoned for the sins of the world. We needed a Savior. In 70 AD the temple was destroyed and the altars crushed. There was no further need for sacrifice. Christ died once for all.

Lord,  sometimes I feel like my behavior doesn’t always reflect the truth of your sacrifice for me, especially when I’m interacting with the world. The natural tendencies of my flesh start showing themselves. I regret things that I’ve said. Put a guard over my lips.  Help me to only speak words that give glory to your Name. By your grace and power may I blossom fully bear spotless fruit as you intended. In Jesus Name I pray.

yicareggie

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Filed under Isaiah, Numbers, Psalms

Numbers 31, Psalm 75 & 76, Isaiah 23, 1 John 1

“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”

1 John 1:5 – 7 NIV

_________

Normally, when I read this verse, I start singing DC Talk’s song “In the Light” in my head.  But the past couple weeks as I’ve been reading & meditating on my assigned chapters, I’ve felt more conviction than normal as I read.

You see, I feel like I have my “outside my home” self that I want everyone else to see. You know, the “perfect” mother-of-five side, where I am loving and caring at all times. Always encouraging, never demeaning. Then there’s the “at home with my hair down” self, where the stress of everyday life seems to get to me more, causing a lash out at whichever child is currently in my radar. Words that do not encourage, words that focus on negativity.

During those times that I lose my patience, I feel guilt about what I’ve said, and how it has impacted my child, but sadly, I have to say, I usually do not think about how it has impacted my relationship with God. I do not acknowledge it as a sin.

As I was reading another book last week, be last, by Jeremy Kingsley, I came across a statement that caused me to do some deep thinking. “When you sin, are you torn up or unsettled until you get things ironed out with God? Are you sad that you have hurt the One you love? If so, that reaction is a sign of  healthy relationship with Christ.” pg. 146

That statement combined with 1 John 1 really got me thinking. In my “outside my home” self it seems to others that I am “walking in the light”, but would they think the same if they saw me in the midst of a crazy homeschooling week. Also, when I strike out in anger with my words, not only am I impacting my child, but also my Lord. My sinful words were part of the lashes on His back that He endured at Calvary.

Thankfully the chapter goes on and I come to a verse I’ve known since childhood. 1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

_________

Thank you Father for being my Light. Thank you for your endless forgiveness to me, the sinner. Help me to walk in the light with You, to rely on You to help me through those tough parenting moments and to make things right with You ASAP when I do fall prey to this sinful nature inside me.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament