There are people who have a way of instantly putting you at ease. Their manner is to include everyone, their winning ways are welcoming, inviting, and exude love.
The disciple John knew he was loved by Jesus, and often referred to himself as “the one Jesus loved” (see John 13:23). Confident in being loved, he wanted others to be assured of being loved as well. In writing 1 John 2, he states who he is writing to as “you who are God’s children; you who are mature in the faith; and you who are young in the faith”. The beauty of his wording is we all are God’s children and we will fall into one of the other two categories, so he is writing to us all. John loved people so deeply, even in his writing, he made certain no one would be left out.
The last few days, I have been returned to read the same three verses over and over. He encourages each of the above mentioned groups assuring them of three things:
- Their sins had been forgiven.
- They knew Jesus.
- They had won their battle with the evil one for their souls.
I am sure those who John was writing to then, as still today, continued to sin in their daily life. God’s forgiveness is ongoing and continuous.
I am sure those who John was writing to then, as still today, sometimes doubted if they knew Jesus. John reminds us that from the very beginning, Jesus desired and invites each of us to know Him.
I am sure those who John was writing to then, as still today, experienced spiritual battles which they thought would be the end of them. Yet he reminds them, and each of us, our enemy has been defeated.
John’s words, recorded for us in God’s Word, are an eternal reminder that our words can impact one another. Deeply. He did not point out the specific sins of those he was writing. Nor their doubts. He did not bring up the things in which they battled. He encouraged them with three statements about themselves:
“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.”
(1 John 2:14, NLT)
Imagine how encouraging it would be to hear these words spoken to you, over you. Perhaps even allow me to say them to you …
“You are strong. As a matter of fact, you are stronger than you even think or realize. You are strong, and get stronger each day, as you stay in God’s Word and allow His Word to live in your heart. Do not believe the lie of the enemy that you are weak. You are not. Your battle with the evil one has been won and you are an overcomer because Jesus resides within you. You are strong in Him.”
Now go face the day in His might!