3 Minute Devotional: 1 John 3:23-24

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"And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us" 1 John 3:23-24.

(3:23). John explains the main focus of life! The first part is that we believe on the name of God’s son, Jesus Christ. The second part of the command is that we love another. The word used for “believe” means to have faith, belief or to give credit to. An excellent summary is presented in this verse that brings all of John’s instruction to a main point.

(3:24). In this last and final verse in this passage and the chapter, John gives a final test of genuine follower of Christ. The word used for “fellowship” means to remain, dwell, abide, endure, last, preserve, to stand firm or steadfast, to remain alive. If we are in Christ we will love fellow believers and will have the desire and power to do what is right and keep God's commands.

How can you love people today?

3 Minute Devotional: 1 John 3:20-22

1john"Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him." 1 John 3:20-22.

(3:20). The heart was an expression used for the mind. The word used for “condemn” means to incriminate or pass sentence upon. Every person whether lost or saved has a conscience that either condemns or excuses them.

(3:21). John goes on to say in this verse that if our heart does not condemn us then we are in the spiritual clear. The word used for “confidence” means freedom or frankness in speaking, freely saying all one thinks, or all that he pleases. This denotes a personal relationship and confidence toward God. However, it is not an arrogant presumption or cockiness, but a test for genuineness. If the readers pass this test they can breathe a sigh of relief. Since verse 14 John has laid down tests. If they have made it through the tests so far, they are assured.

(3:22). Prayer is the subject of this verse. Many modern church members and ministers would say that this verse teaches that we can ask and receive anything from God. We must look at the whole context of the verse in order to understand the whole meaning. The word picture for “ask” is like a beggar from the giver, a child by the parent or most importantly, man from God. The reason why “whatever” we ask of God is answered is found in the latter part of the verse. “Because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in the father’s sight.” Those who truly know the Lord will not engage in a constant self-centered prayer life. A follower of Jesus will ask according to God’s will, those things which are “pleasing”. Therefore, God will answer a true believer’s prayer because the request is in alignment with God’s will.

Do you feel that you can come to God with confidence? Begin to pray for God with confidence and obedience!

3 Minute Devotional: 1 John 3:17-19

1john17 "If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God" 1 John 3:17-19.

(3:17). John swings from theological truths to application in this verse. He presents a rhetorical question that follows the same thought as the previous verses. The word for “good” means the means and way of life. John says that if a believer who has ample provisions and sees another believer in need and does not help him out, it is not possible for them to have God's love. The Greek phrase is “shutteth up his bowels." Bowels are descriptive of the inner heart or feelings. In other words, those who reject and those who are in genuine need of the physical necessities of life are strangers to God.

(3:18). John addresses the readers as “little children." This is an expression of either fatherly love or a statement of their spiritual condition. Apparently John’s readers had a problem with lip service without actual service. The word for “deed” means work or performance. This verse uses the previous verse as a springboard. After telling the readers that if they do not provide for fellow believers, they do not have eternal life, he adds to the command by telling them to show their love rather than talk about it.

(3:19). John reaches a conclusion for the test of providing for fellow believers. It was a test for genuineness, not an act of earning salvation. The word for “know” means to be acquainted with a person, to know or understand. Our actions give us enlightenment as to whether or not we know God. The word for “assure” means to make confident, free from fear or doubt, to depend upon, or have confidence in. John uses two words to express that the results of this test are absolute, leaving no room for doubt.

Who can you help in need today?  How can you show your love by action to others today?