August 11, 2019
1 John 1 JOY
1 John 1: 1 -3
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John was written by the apostle John, one of the 12 disciples who walked with Jesus during his 3 years of ministry. He lived a very long life, history records he was around 100 years old when he writes his final epistle. Like many old people he was tough as nails. History records that like all of the other apostles he endured terrible persecution for his faith. Thought the other disciple all died for their faith John somehow by God’s grace survived. Because of his faith the government took him and put him cauldron of boiling oil. Miraculously he survived. The government later left him die on the prison island of Patmos. He survived that too. And at the end of his life he would visit the churches in his home region of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey).
Upon hearing of his arrival the Christians in each town would be filled with excitement. Imagine the insight John could share after enduring such hardship for his faith. Oh, they would be so excited to hear from the last man who known Jesus personally. To actually hear from the one who sat next to Jesus at the last supper. Oh to hear from the man who was there at the foot of the cross. But time after time, town after town, John would stand his old body up before the people and say one line, “Little children, Love one another.”
As we read John’s letter we find that he has a surprisingly simple message for us— one not too different than what he shared with the churches in his day. This one who knew Jesus, who walked with him— this last messenger of the apostles writes this letter with a message to you:
4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
Everyone tends to tell everyone what they need to be doing. Have you noticed that? There is always someone telling me to eat more this or exercise more with that. To work more in this way, and to rest more in that other way.
John after 100 years of life, he says, I think there’s something far more important for you. Here’s what really matters, he’s saying, “Be filled with Joy!”
Evidently when Jesus I have come that you might have life, and life more abundantly.” John was listening. More importantly, he saw that Joy pour through Jesus. And now he shares with us exactly where Joy comes from.
Hebrews 12:2 “…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the cross.”
Jesus, taking beating, and shame of those he loved, he saw them in the streets, he ate in their homes, he held their children, and now they are spitting on him, Jeering at him, as he is nailed to the cross. And says, “Father forgive them, they don’t even know what they are doing.”
Happiness is born in the body, but Joy flows from the soul.
Coffee, peace, and comfy chair with a view makes one happy. But rain, crying babies, and achy back take it away. Joy comes from a deeper source, that is not affected by the ups and downs of life. Happiness is the body smiling. Joy is the soul laughing.
Joy doesn’t disregard our problems but it connects us to a peace that is deeper than tears.
Wine in Cana
Before healing, speaking the mysteries of heaven, before feeding the hungry, Jesus blessed a wedding celebration with wine. The master of ceremonies said that day, “You have saved the best for last.” And this is what Jesus wants all of us to feel— that Joy has come with the rising of the Son in our life.
Let the Lord do this same work in your heart.
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Yesterday, I saw my little girl had just spent far too much time inside. On such a glorious day as this a little girl would be better off with some fresh air. So I told her, Chloe, It’s time for you to go outside. She walked over to the window, looked outside for a bit, and then said, “No, thanks.”
I think this is how we respond to the Lord’s commands a bit too often.
Sin isn’t bad for us because God calls it sin.
It’s called sin, because it’s bad for us.
His commands are light in a dark world. Here are some clues to understand what is a sin in your life. Do you keep it in the dark? Does it keep you from fellowship from Christians?
Just as Jesus lived his life boldly in the truth of love, and was surrounded by the devout and the sinner. Our sins, which keep us in the dark and away from those around Jesus, also keep us from the Lord.
Sin is the Joy - Killer.
Jeremiah 48:11 Moab has been at ease from his youth, and he has settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into captivity, therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent has not changed.
So as Jesus seeks to fill your soul with Joy, he’ll with it seek to remove the dregs of sin from your heart. Sin is anything that steals and embitters the joy that God is seeking to work in to your life.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Think about a car wash. When your car is disgusting, it’s hard to keep it clean. But after somebody has very carefully washed it for you, you don’t throw trash around the back seat like you usually do!
> When we confess he washes us giving us a chance at a new way of living. This is why Satan tries so hard to keep you out of church, and out of the word. Because when we are worshiping the Lord, and enjoying communion with Him, we are made aware of the perfect cleansing of God. And it empowers us to live the way God deserves us to live.
2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Forgiveness comes from Jesus having paid the sin for us. It’s like we’re in court for our crimes, and the judge fines us $ 1,000,000. But we have a “righteous advocate” that is to say a good and godly lawyer named Jesus Christ, who sees our fine and shows the Judge that he has already paid the fine for us. Our lawyer say “oh, that not actually a crime in 2019.” Nor, does our godly lawyer lie and say, “No, no, he didn’t do any of it. It’s somebody else’s fault.” Instead our godly lawyer says, “No, I paid the price for him. Now he can go free.”