This morning I actually set my alarm and got up before the rest of the family for some quiet time. This is something I've been planning to do for, well, for years. I will attempt it again tomorrow! In my quiet time I read 1 John and I can't shake the feeling that I need to share what I learned. And since this is basically my only platform, I will share it here :). If this sounds boring to you, scroll down for pictures of my really cute kids. I know that's the only reason most of you visit my blog anyway!
1. God actually expects me to live like Jesus did. He doesn't just expect me to know about how Jesus lived. He doesn't just expect me to admire how Jesus lived or teach others how Jesus lived. John says "Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did." I like to think there's a lot of wiggle room due to the fact that "Jesus lived in a different time and culture than I do" or my personal favorite "Jesus was a single man and I'm a married mother of 3" etc... But I know for me those are convenient justifications for the fact that on most fronts my life looks nothing like his did. I am comfortable. He was not. I am selfish. He was not. I'm impatient. He was not. I don't want to brag, but I'm generally well liked. He was not. It is true that my time and circumstances are different that his were, but time and circumstance have very little to do with love and sacrifice. 1 John 5:6 says "And Jesus Christ was revealed as God's Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross - not by water only, but by water and blood." I'm no theologian. I'm not even sure I know how to spell theologian. But Jesus' obedience to the father obviously involved great sacrifice. It's very tempting to rest in the fact that we have followed Jesus' example and God's command by participating in water baptism. But Jesus didn't stop there. He went on to live a life of sacrifice. Water and Blood. John says "We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion - how can God's love be in that person? Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." He actually expects me to live like that.
2. I cannot love God and the things of this world. 1 John 2:15-17 says "Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. "
3. God lives in me and his love is brought to full expression in me. - John 4:12. That is a huge responsibility! But John also says that when we love God, his commandments are not burdensome 5:3.
4. I must carefully guard my heart. 1 John 5:21 - Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts.
If you made it to the end of this, thank you for letting me share what's on my heart. Maybe that nagging will ease up now :). You should definitely read 1 John. Now I'm going to bed so I can hopefully manage to get up early again!