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In Order. Guard Your Heart

December 26. 1 John 1-5.

 

These two verses serve well as bookends for First John.

 

 

1:4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.

 

- and - 

 

5:21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

 

As you read through these chapters it will not take long before you come face to face with the intentionality of this book. The author is confident in his writing and the reason for his writing. Take a look at these few examples from the 2nd chapter:

 

2:21 I am writing to you who are God’s children
    because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.

13 I am writing to you who are mature in the faith
    because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I am writing to you who are young in the faith
    because you have won your battle with the evil one.

14 I have written to you who are God’s children
    because you know the Father.
I have written to you who are mature in the faith
    because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young in the faith
    because you are strong.
God’s word lives in your hearts,
    and you have won your battle with the evil one.

 

Did you notice the clarity? “I am writing… because; I have written… because.” Writing with such conviction and purpose flows from experience and knowledge. John is writing these words from a transformed life. What he has experienced, as recorded in his introductory lines in chapter 1, he wants you to experience as well.

 

1:1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

 

If you know Jesus, the source of joy, you can have that same joy. Chapters 2, 3 and 4, now offer proofs of that joy; things like forgiveness of sins, love for others, and expelled fear. These chapters are full of wonderful truths that offer a clear gauge as to how you are walking with God and His Son Jesus Christ, or if you are walking with Him. Take the time to read through these truths and again and, if necessary make any adjustments necessary to re-order your relationship with God.

 

And with that, the closing verse becomes a firm anchor and reference point for ordering your life – guard your heart, do not let anything in that will move God from the center of your life, if He is gone so is the joy, the peace, the love, the truth, the light and all things good. Guard your heart.

 

 

Allen Owens

Allen Owens is a follower of Christ, husband, father, teacher, preacher, missionary, and adventurer, with a passion to see young people come to Christ as Savior and then wholly commit their lives to...more