3 John

Love Of The World

  15   Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, 16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever. 1 John 2:15–17 NET Taken from The Modern Day Disciple Bible Study on 1, 2, & 3 John Have you ever been “in love”? Maybe there was a special somebody who suddenly took your breath away as they walked into the room. Your nerves were shot, and all you could think about was how to keep from making a fool of yourself in front of this person. Or, maybe you just found yourself thinking about this person throughout the day. In a good way, you just couldn’t get them out of your mind. Now, my follow-up question would be, “How long did that last?” Unfortunately, people think that being “in love” is the equivalent of loving someone. This is part of why so many marriages don’t last – because people claim that they don’t love each other anymore. What they really mean is that they don’t feel “in love” anymore. Love is more than just a feeling; it’s a choice. It’s about setting your affections to rest on a certain person or entity. It is committing yourself unconditionally in fact, covenantally to someone or something. The feeling of being “in love” is really more of an involuntary thing, something you […]

The Power of Your Past

  12 I am writing to you, little children, that your sins have been forgiven because of his name. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, that you have conquered the evil one. 14 I have written to you, children, that you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young people, that you are strong, and the word of God resides in you, and you have conquered the evil one. 1 John 2:12–14 NET Taken from The Modern Day Disciple Bible Study on 1, 2, & 3 John Several times in this epistle John makes his intentions for writing this letter crystal clear. This section of chapter two, however, is different from the other passages that contain some declaration of purpose. In each of the other instances (1 John 1:4; 2:1, 21; 5:13) John points to either the present or to the future. Here, he points to the past. Here, he calls upon the reader to consider his or her past and to be reminded of past spiritual victories. Recalling our pasts can be a powerful and moving experience. The modern day disciple should regularly stop and consider the richness of the past. Like John’s original audience, believers today have many things to be thankful for. Taking time to consider them makes our hearts more sensitive and appreciative toward our Savior. It is dangerous to become so consumed with the present and the future that we forget about our pasts. Recalling the personal things God has accomplished in […]

The Advocate

“But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.” (1John 2:1–2 NET) Taken from The Modern Day Disciple Bible Study on 1, 2, & 3 John Human nature is sin nature by default.  It has been that way since the fall of mankind, so it should not be surprising when people sin.  However, people all over the world try to deny that they are, in fact, sinners, despite the mountain of evidence that speaks contrarily to that notion.  Some of this is because people truly believe that they have no advocate.  They think there is no one in their corner speaking on their behalf for their own good.  Even worse, they think that God would be the last person to defend them if they were ever to admit their wrongdoing.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  The fundamental message of the cross is that God is for you.  He is on your side.  In fact, Jesus died for you.  He took the death sentence that was rightfully yours.  Think about that.  If there was ever an advocate, a person in your corner fighting for your life, it was Jesus Christ.  It was in His advocacy that He also became the atoning sacrifice for your sins.  He paid the price for your wrongdoing.  It should be expected for people in the world to run from God because they don’t know Jesus, but it’s just downright strange when one of God’s own children runs away from Him.  Think about it.  Most parents are much more pleased […]

Self Deception

“If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1John 1:8–9 NET) Taken from The Modern Day Disciple Bible Study on 1, 2, & 3 John Self-deception is a dangerous and all too common occurrence among Christians today.  Self deception has been defined as “a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument.”8 It has also been defined as “bad faith.” Let’s be honest – we are all guilty of this appalling and dreadful action.  We spend countless hours trying to rationalize, explain, justify, validate, and defend our inexcusable actions. The Life Application Study Bible accurately states that, “all people are sinners by nature and by practice.  At conversion all our sins are forgiven past, present, and future. Yet even after we become Christians, we still sin and still need to confess. This kind of confession is not offered to gain God’s acceptance but to remove the barrier to fellowship that our sin has put between us and him. It is difficult, however, for many people to admit their faults and shortcomings even to God. It takes humility and honesty to recognize our weaknesses, and most of us would rather pretend that we are strong. But we need not fear revealing our sins to God; he knows them already. He will not push us away, no matter what we’ve done. Instead, he will draw us to himself.”9  Self-deception is indeed bad faith and we must all be careful not to fall into this trap.  Our flesh longs to justify our sin with logic, reason, and what we might dare call “common sense” but […]

Telephone

“If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.” (1John 1:6–7 NET) Taken from The Modern Day Disciple Bible Study on 1, 2, & 3 John When I was a kid, I enjoyed playing the game “telephone.” Perhaps some of you have participated in this childhood game and have been amused by its ever unpredictable outcome.  For those of you who maybe haven’t had the experience, the game begins with the lead person conjuring up a short but complicated story.  The other participants then line up in a “telephone line”, waiting for the story to be passed on. The story-maker whispers his or her message into the ear of the first person in line and as fast as they can.  Once the message is uttered, the message has to move forward, no matter what, and on it goes.  The message is whispered from person to person until it reaches the last person in line.  By and large, the message is significantly distorted after the first two times the message has been shared.  By the time the story reaches the last person, it’s a completely different story.  Unfortunately, the message of the gospel is often misheard and wrongly declared, and in it’s passing from one person to the next, the message changes into something that is lifeless and powerless to change lives.  This is what John’s chief concern was with the people he was writing to.  You see, even though John was confident in what he had heard from Jesus and was certain of what he had declared, he was also wise enough to know that the message of the gospel […]

What Have You Seen and Heard? 1 John 1:1-4 (Day 47 1 John 1:1-4)

  1 This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life– 2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). 3 What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). 4 Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1–4 NET This excerpt was taken from The Modern Day Disciple Bible Study What have you seen and heard with your own eyes and ears?  Is your testimony a reflection of these things?  Most of us are born blessed with the ability to see and hear.  Through our senses we experience the unique and amazing things of life.  Then we proclaim, testify, announce, publicize and otherwise make known those things which we experience here on earth. The picture above was taken minutes after my first child was born.  Like all proud parents, at the first possible moment I began texting, calling, and emailing the world to announce the birth of my baby boy.  Still to this day I get excited when I have the opportunity to recall moments like this in my life and share them with others. As eager and enthusiastic as we are to share with others the news of a promotion, birth, winning RBI, new car, or new dress, we seem less eager […]

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