WEEK THREE, DAY ONE, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION
WEEK THREE THEME: COMMUNITY
DAY ONE THEME: WE WERE MADE FOR COMMUNITY
SCRIPTURE: I JOHN 1:1-10
“We announce to you what existed from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have seen and our hands handled, about the word of life. The life was revealed, and we have seen, and we testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. What we have seen and heard, we also announce it to you so that you can have fellowship with us.
Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy can be complete. This is the message that we have heard from him and announce to you: ‘God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.’ If we claim, ‘We have fellowship with him,’ and live in the darkness, we are lying and do not act truthfully. But if we live in the light in the same way as he is in the light, we have fellowhsip with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we claim, ‘We don’t have any sin,’ we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. If we claim, ‘We have never sinned,’ we make him a liar and his word is not in us.”
THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!
SOAKING IT UP: A testimony. Our testimony is that part of us that we share because we know because we know that we know. This is not a weak testimony here in the book of 1 John. The writer here has learned it with his mind, experienced it with his heart and touched it with his hands. It is a testimony of truth beyond any doubt. There is no “I feel” or “I think” here… this is perfect truth as witnessed and experienced first hand. This testimony has many absolutes in it that does not allow us to deviate or change one little bit.
Truth Number One: GOD IS LIGHT – there is NO DARKNESS in GOD AT ALL. There is no New Testament God vs the Old Testament God. God is the same today as he was in the beginning of Creation – pure light with no darkness. The story of man is filled with dark times, but that is not the story of God. This testimony is clear – there is no darkness at all found in God. God’s light is never partly cloudy or moody – God remains light always.
To take this thought in and ponder it and let it take root, we are able to let go of all pretense of worthiness or prerequisite. We do not need to conjure the light – it is God. And when God’s light is present, there is no room or opportunity for darkness. God’s light is the source of Kingdom Living. As we remain in Community first and foremost with the Holy Trinity, then we take on the Kingdom of God and as vessels increasing the joy as we spread it to all we have contact with in our daily living.
Truth Number Two: It is IMPOSSIBLE to live in fellowship with God – who is pure full light – AND also live in darkness. We are unable to shield our darkness from the light. There is no bush to hide in or closet to close things up – when in fellowship with God, we, too, are living in God’s light. Darkness of any kind is fully exposed and unable to remain. Once a darkened corner is lit, it is no longer dark!
Truth Number Three: When God’s light becomes our dwelling, we have fellowship with others of God’s light and our sin is forgiven. Forgiveness is God’s light shining into our darkness and keeping it from ever becoming dark again. To deny our dark spots is simply to lie about our sinfulness – the truth is not in us. To acknowledge the darknesses in our life as the sin it is allows the light to shine forth and forgivenss to be real in our living helping us embrace the light more and more.
This testimony is compelling. It inspires us to live in the light and rid ourselves of all darkness. It is freeing and jubulant and full of joy to live a life that is already embracing the Kingdom of Heaven. As this light shines in us more and more continually, we are more and more able to resist any darkness that would try to distract and dilute our lives and enjoy and embrace the community of God found in His beautiful light.
Let us be people of the light, both embracing it for ourselves and sharing it with all we encounter in our daily living. The Kingdom of God is contagious, let us be out there in the world infecting the world for God’s Kingdom. Peace begins within ourselves through our encounter and acceptance of God’s love and it speads like wildfire as we share it eagerly.
Darkness will continually pursue us trying to capture us and rob us of all of God’s Light. Thanks be to God who goes before us in love and understanding…our Eternal Light ridding us of all darkness as we will accept and allow!