Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen (1 John 5:21).
Here’s John’s last instruction. If we don’t follow this one, we will be in deep trouble. We are to guard ourselves against idols. Anything can be an idol. Just look at people on drugs who have made drugs an idol in their lives. They have to have it! Anything can be like that. Anything can drag us away from Jesus Christ; that’s why it is so important to spend quality time with Him.
I’m not a quality time person, I’m a words person. You want to butter me up? Use words. But Jesus? He’s a quality time person. He doesn’t want every encounter to be a strategy meeting. He simply wants to be with you and to have your full attention. He wants to impart things to you, and He can’t do that while you are agitatedly in the room with Him, but your mind is elsewhere. Things you think you must attend to are probably your idols. Things that come to your mind while you are Practicing His Presence, and you put away your spiritual prayer cloth and run to the phone, or to the computer, or whatever, these are idols, something you deem to be more important than Jesus. Make Him your idol! Make Him your Perfect Everything. Go to Him first and find out what is happening in heaven before mopping up the mess you find yourself in. In fact, you’ll probably find out there is no mess.
The path of Jesus lies right in the middle of what you called a problem. Guard yourself from making your mess, making your problem, bigger than Jesus. Lean on Him. Don’t bother with your own understanding. He’ll make your path straight. Yes, He will!
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).
He is our Perfect Everything. We don’t need other gods. In comparison to The Truth, we have and know about God our Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and their Holy Spirit. Where else can we go to find such satisfaction, such completion? Here on earth we only know in part, like seeing through a haze or a cloudy mirror. But in heaven—in our eternal life—we will know it all. Even now our eternal life has already started because we made Jesus our Lord. He lives inside of us with His Father and the Holy Spirit, and we can already know all things. We have the mind of Christ. It’s just a matter of standing still in the dizziness of distractions and KNOW that He is God. He’ll give us every answer we need!
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19).
The whole earth is like a playing field, and there are only two teams on that field—us and them. Either we are with Christ, or we are against Christ. If an unbeliever tells us that he just hasn’t made up his mind yet, he has. He has chosen the other team without even making an X in the box that indicates his membership. No one can miss the mightiness of God our Father. Nor His creativity. No one really has an excuse for not choosing Jesus to be their Lord. However, our compassionate Father sends us out to explain and demonstrate what every creature knows internally: only God created the heavens and the earth and put everything into motion that we see and know today. Only God sent His Son, part of Himself, to pay for our sins, our sicknesses, our failures, our prosperity, our peace, and so on. . . . There is only One, and there is only One way to reach Him—through Jesus. After that, we are given God’s own Holy Spirit to live His life through us, a life of plenty, a life of peace, a life of righteousness. Only God!
We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him (1 John 5:18).
Oh, my. This sounds like a conflict, doesn’t it? I said I sin, and believers are sinners, yet here it says that those who are born again do not sin. Step back a minute and look at this truth. There is sin that misses the mark. There is also sin that is hatched in hell. A believer has a new spirit. This new spirit comes from God and is the image of God. It’s who we really are. This new spirit cannot plot and carry out deliberate sin. The mind might manufacture some fanciful ideas about getting revenge, etc., but our new spirit will not allow the action. We’re no longer made that way. Like the Scripture says, we keep ourselves. Now I know deadly gossip can run rampant in a church and wound many members. Just remember this. Our God does not gossip about His children, nor is He happy when gossip happens. Don’t let the devil touch you. You hold your tongue and the gossip will soon end.
All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death (I John 5:17).
Iniquity, according to my dictionary, is “gross sin—wickedness, scandalous, injustice.” Yet even these will not put someone to death. Even these will not deny someone entrance into heaven, IF they are in Christ. All sin is forgiven there. The word sin covers a large territory, from the slightest offense to the most disgusting behavior man can devise. My W.E. Vine dictionary says it means, in Greek, “a missing of the mark.” What mark might that be? God. We aim for the highest, and we fall short. In that case, I sin every day. And every day I am forgiven! The Blood of Jesus sits on the altar in heaven and speaks in my behalf. “Marty has given her life to Jesus! Keep your hands off of her!” Glory Be to God!
If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that (1 John 5:16).
John is coming to the end of his letter, and he has saved the big climax for the end. What is the unforgiveable sin? What does he warn us not to pray for? The only thing that can stand between us and heaven is to deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He came to save us. To deny the Deity of Christ, is to deny God and all He has to give us. The whole world, with the exception of the few atheists among us, believe there is a God, but when it comes to the exclusivity of Jesus Christ, that He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life, that only through Him can we approach our Father in Heaven, as we Americans say, that’s where the rubber meets the road, or the debris hits the fan. That Truth is what separates the believers from the sinners. We believers are no longer considered to be sinners, even though we sin. We know we are forgiven. The world can’t know that wonderful state of existence, to be able to stand before God as pure as the driven snow! Because of Jesus.
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions
that we have asked of Him (1 John 5:15).
We can never go wrong praying according to what the Bible says. We don’t have to beg God for anything. In fact, begging tends to land on a closed ear. Faith opens God’s ears wide! We know that we have the thing for which we asked. What other so called “god” offers such joy to the people who believe in that false god? They have nothing to offer except a morose life full of disappointment. Whereas we, we know! We are certain that if He hears our prayers, He will answer them gladly. And how does He hear? Because we have prayed according to His will. It’s His will that we have everything we need. It’s His will that we have the desires of our heart.
You don’t believe me? READ YOUR BIBLE! It makes Him happy to see His children happy! Any parent will say the same thing.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (1 John 5:14).
Now, where’s the secret of strength in this verse? It’s in the phrase “according to His will.” Many people end their prayers by saying “if it be Thy will.” Why don’t they know what His will is? It’s as plain on the nose on your face. His will, what He wants, is written over and over again in His Word. That’s why the Scriptures say that in two or three witnesses a thing is established.
When we find what we believe to be His will in the Scriptures, for instance, we know that He wants all men to be saved, then we look for other places where it says the same thing. By two or three witnesses we can know His will. Another example would be about healing. It mentions three times that by His stripes (the marks of the lash on Jesus’ back), we were healed. We can only conclude that He paid for our healing as well as our salvation, and yes, He wants us to be healed. When we pray according to this knowledge, we know He hears us. And if He hears us . . . ?
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5 :13).
Thank God for the name of Jesus! It is the most powerful name in the universe. It carries power. That’s why the demons flee when they hear that name; they hate it. But do you believe what I’ve just said about His name? That’s the secret ingredient in this verse: believe in His name. Do you, in time of need, use His name and then wonder if anything is going to happen? Let’s be honest. You don’t believe.
Where I live right now, the Vendee, has a cloud of darkness over this department that is so thick it seems impenetrable. So I have to walk around, do my shopping, drive my car, saying “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” under my breath in order to prevent all the little difficulties the little demons are creating all the time. When I do that, I can actually feel the open heaven above me. Perhaps some of you should try it.
Have you also noticed that Jesus is the only one of the Trinity who has a name? The other two have an identity, but not a name. However, since the three are one, when we use the name of Jesus, all three of them respond! We’ve got protection up, down and inside out! All in a name! Pretty simple, isn’t it?
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:12).
What is this life that Jesus has, and anyone who does not have Him as their Savior AND their Lord does not have this life?
It’s a life of Grace, a life of Power, a life of Peace, a life of Joy, a life of Love; in other words, it is a life of perfect everything because the Lover of our souls is THE Perfect Everything. We can’t look to people to give us all this. They don’t have it. But we can all have Mr. Perfect Everything and be happy beyond belief!
I’m old enough to remember when people were simpler than they are now. There was a gentleman in my neighborhood, an unpretentious man who didn’t mind others knowing his song. He was always singing, “I woke up this mornin’ with my mind stayed on Jesus. I walked around all day with my mind stayed on Jesus. I’m gonna go to heaven with my mind stayed on Jesus. Well Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”
Life with Jesus is like that. Joy is simple. And the Joy of the Lord is our strength!