Yes, I know, it’s been a while since I’ve written, my apologies. The fundraiser has consumed my time over the last few weeks, but more on that soon, I’ve got to get this down while it’s fresh.
So, it’s on to the book of I John for today.
The first 3 chapters focus on light, love, and the family of God. It goes without saying, like every other passage in scripture, that this is convicting, we cannot live as children of light–children of Christ–while we harbor hatred towards another. It is spiritually impossible. But for now, I’d like to concentrate on Chapter 2:12-17:
I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you dear children because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
So, let’s break this down:
1) Children: your sins have been forgiven on account of my name, you have known the Father
2) Fathers: you have known Him who is from the beginning
3) Young Men: you have overcome the evil one because you are strong and the word of God lives in you
This is such a beautiful picture of how a Christian progresses in his/her faith, it starts with the forgiveness of sins and truly coming to know the Father. Once we know the Father, we can trust him, we are empowered, we can cull from the pool of knowledge of what we have seen God do and move forward unashamedly towards his purposes for us. Finally, I think it’s very interesting and notable that the “father’s” description does not change in these verses, twice it says, “because you have known him who is from the beginning.” Fathers knowing THE Father, this is brought about in no other way except through spiritual maturity, continual testing and just plain knowledge. So here is our charge, what do we do with spiritual children? We teach them, we encourage them, we share examples with them, admonish them and encourage them to grow. And for our young men and women in the faith? We CHALLENGE them, we spur them on to greater heights, greater faith, greater delving in the Word of God. Fathers, (and mothers!) I’m talking to you, now. You can’t keep your light under a bushel, you’ve got to let it continually shine for the children, the young men and women.
A good friend of mine shared a story she wrote about her two-year-old daughter, how she is challenged in her own faith as she watches how this bold and reckless little girl approaches life–how she charges toward her daddy as soon as he gets home and leaps up, knowing he’s going to catch her, because he always does–And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. (2:28)
photo licenced under Creative Commons, brianna.lehman