MEET THE MISSUS: It's possible that this letter was written to a specific lady (v1), but it's much more likely that the 'lady' refers to a church, since the church is often referred to as the bride of Christ (especially in Revelation, which John also wrote). While the particular church John wrote to may have been in Ephesus, this letter has application for all those who are in the church, which includes you.
IT'S CROWDED IN THERE: There's a lot going on inside of you. In v2, you find out that the truth lives in you. The problem is that the truth is not the only resident. We've read multiple times this year that your 'old self' remains in you as well. If you constantly feel like you're being pulled in two different directions - that the truth and your own desires are playing tug of war with your life - you now know why. Thankfully v2 goes on to assure you that the truth is in you to stay. Unlike your old sinful self, which someday will come to an inglorious end, the truth "will be with us forever (v2)."
WALK THIS WAY, TALK THIS WAY: The Christian life develops momentum that begins with one key command: "to love one another (v5)." But what does it really mean to love? Simple, John says... to to love is to "walk in obedience to His commands (v6)," which brings you right back to the beginning: to keep "his command is to walk in love (v6)." Do you see the circular nature of this pattern: obey commands -> love one another -> obey commands -> love one another -> obey, etc. As you continue to love and obey, the momentum builds and your ability to love and obey perpetually increases. Until, of course...
IT ALL COMES TO A SCREECHING HALT: The enemy hates it when you get that momentum going in your life, and the best way to break that cycle is to deceive you. Be on guard from all the distractions thrown your way to draw you away from Christ, because when you take your eye off the ball, so to speak, the cycle of love & obedience implodes and "you lose what you have worked for (v8)." When (not if) that happens, remember the truth still lives in you (v2), so slowly begin to rebuild the momentum of love and obedience you were called to from the beginning (v5).
Communion Preparation For Sunday, 9/27/20
Heidelberg Catechism QA 81
Q. Who should come to the Lord’s table?
A. Those who are displeased with themselves because of their sins, but who nevertheless trust that their sins are pardoned and that their remaining weakness is covered by the suffering and death of Christ, and who also desire more and more to strengthen their faith and to lead a better life.
Hypocrites and those who are unrepentant, however, eat and drink judgment on themselves.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God, who has chosen you to belong to His children (v1, 13)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will cause you to walk in obedience to His commands by resisting your old self and listening to God's truth which lives in you.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: