1 John; Relationships

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

You know how we always say, “You can’t share what you don’t have?” Well John actually had a real relationship with Jesus, and in 1 John he shares it. He has some powerful stuff to help us in our relationship with Jesus.  “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

One of the first things John shares is the forgiveness of Jesus. Not only had John been forgiven a lot, but he also saw Jesus forgive a lot. He saw him forgive Peter, He was at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother, when Jesus cried out “Father forgive them.” He witnessed firsthand the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is very important to relationships.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.  1 John 2:1-2

“If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” How careful is the Lord Jesus to give no occasion for a soul to despair. How he fences about the soul from Satan’s fierce attacks. If through manifold temptations we are surprised or deceived into sin, he does not turn from us, and leave us to perish. No, no, that is not like our Saviour. Christ prays for us. He was tempted in all points like as we are; and having been tempted, he knows how to succor those who are tempted. Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of his Father at the throne of grace. His atoning sacrifice we may plead for our pardon, our justification, and our sanctification. The Lamb slain is our only hope. Our faith looks upon him, grasps him as the one who can save to the uttermost, and the fragrance of the all-sufficient offering is accepted of the Father. Unto Christ is committed all power in heaven and in earth, and all things are possible to him that believeth. Christ’s glory is concerned in our success. He has a common interest with all humanity. He is our sympathizing Saviour.  {Review and Herald, September 1, 1891 par. 2} 

While John also knew the power of forgiveness, he also knew how important faithfulness is to a relationship with Christ. “Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16

John also knew what was possible for us when we are in a relationship with Jesus.

 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.  1 John 2:6

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  1 John 3:1-3

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  1 John 3:9

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  1 John 4:17

Are you grasping the power and what is possible here? As He is so are we, not after we get to heaven, but in this world!

We love him, because he first loved us.  1 John 4:19 Here John tells us what His relationship with Christ is all about. “  It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour’s matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary’s cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.”  {Desire of Ages, p. 480}

Where does this relationship built on love lead to? “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”  1 John 5:13

The Fruit of the Spirit, Lesson 2

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Holding onto a grudge does not protect your rights. It denies your right to forgive and live a happy life.

This morning I was reading this passage in the Bible, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27. Suddenly, a random thought hit me. When we hang onto a grudge and refuse to forgive, we are giving the devil his “right” to have a place in our hearts. It is God’s place to tell us to forgive. It is the devil’s right to tell us we don’t have to forgive. When Christ resurrected Moses, the devil was right there to say Moses could not be forgiven and resurrected. When Christ forgave the paralytic, the devil was right amongst the priests and Pharisees claiming Christ had no right to forgive. 1 John 2:1 tells us Jesus is our advocate. Jesus gives us the right to be forgiven and to forgive. However when we hang onto a grudge, and refuse to forgive, then we have just fired Jesus as our advocate and put the devil, the accuser of the brethren in His place! Not a good move.

Do you really want the accuser of the brethren telling you what your rights are? Consider our high Priest as He hung upon the cross and forgave the repentant thief; “Men may exercise power over His human body. They may pierce the holy temples with the crown of thorns. They may strip from Him His raiment, and quarrel over its division. But they cannot rob Him of His power to forgive sins. In dying He bears testimony to His own divinity and to the glory of the Father. His ear is not heavy that it cannot hear, neither His arm shortened that it cannot save. It is His royal right to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.” – Desire of Ages, p. 751. It is God’s right to forgive sin and He has also given that right to you! Don’t let the devil take away your rights!

When the devil tells you that the person who has hurt you has taken away your right to happiness, turn the tables on him! Tell him you have the right to forgive them and be happy, instead of taking his poison by holding onto the grudge that he wants to give you, as your supposed “right”.  Instead of  letting the devil give you his fruit, let God give you the fruit of the Spirit which is love. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.  Holding onto a grudge is not a right, its a poison. Forgiveness is a divine right! Satan has no place or right in your relationships!

You may find more studies and devotionals on my website In Light Of The Cross.