Scripture for Today: 1 John 2:12-17
12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
The greatest pursuit in life is to know God. In fact the inherent purpose of every man and woman on earth is to know God. In today’s passage John is commending the recipients of his letter for the fact that they “know” God. In these six verses, he indicates three times that he is writing this letter because they knew God.
After emphasizing the extreme value in knowing God, John jumps right into instruction for us to follow so that we will know God better. In verse 15 he states, “Do not love the world nor the things of the world If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him.” This scripture is not saying that we can’t enjoy things in this world… rather it is making clear that our the primarily focus of our lives is to love God. John goes on to say that love for the world can be categorized in to three areas, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (vs 16). Lust and pride are the two most significant sins that detract us from loving God. ironically, when we find ourselves acting out of lust or pride in something, we are grasping for something fleeting and temporary in exchange for something of eternal value. John hammers this point home by pointing out the “world is passing away” but the “will of God lives forever” (vs 16). Clearly we ought to devote ourselves to knowing God first and foremost.
In Philippians 3:10, Paul shared his longing to “know Him (Jesus) and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.” Knowing God is not a safe and easy path. While knowing God will result in lives that are abundant and full, it will also lead to challenges and difficulties. In John 16:33 we read, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Everyone that lives on this earth faces difficulties. As we get to know God, we receive the power to endure and triumph over what ever this world sends our way.
My NEXT Step: Meditate on the following quote from J.I Packer. “How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is simple but demanding. It is that we turn each Truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.”
Questions to Catalyze Growth:
- What does it mean to know God?
- Do you know God? What evidence would you provide to support your answer?
- What steps do you need to take to know God?
- What is the difference between “knowledge about God” and “knowledge of God” as outlined in the quote from J.I. Packer?