(Today's post by Adam Cooper)
1 John 1:1-2:2
As we start off this New Year, 2014, I believe these verses are so appropriate. It is always good to start the year off with Good News and the information provided in these verses is the pinnacle of good news. These words were penned by a witness to Jesus; his power, his mercy, his grace, his sacrifice. What follows this brief introduction are accounts of the words and actions of Jesus. By being a witness to Jesus the author feels compelled to spread the word of Christ to the point that it is joyful to him. I would almost hazard to say that sharing the good news of Christ is worship to him.
The author proceeds to relate the words of Christ in relation to the Father. God is light. In biblical terminology light is “good” therefore God is good. God does not have any darkness within Him. Darkness in biblical terminology is “evil, sin, badness” therefore God is void of ANY evil or badness. If someone claims to know God but continues to practice or behave in a way that is evil or bad or full of sin then they lie about their relationship with God. The author is telling those with whom he speaks that they must walk in the goodness of God, forsaking all that is evil or bad or sin, knowing that it was the blood shed by the Christ that seals our relationship with God. We must realize that we have sin in us and we must repent from that sin in order to maintain a right relationship with God. If we claim to be without sin then we are actually expressing our connection with the darkness because we are all full of sin. The good news is that if we do sin once we have a relationship with Christ we need to understand that the Jesus stands in intercession for us with God.
I am not one of those people that was raised in the church. I was forced to attend church from the age of 10 through 17 and the hypocrisy I witnessed watching people act one way on Sunday and another way the other 6 days of the week turned me off so much that when I left and joined the military I also left the church. I ran from God for the next 22 years living a life that was not the worst that I could have lived but it was a life in which I did not do what God would have me do. I lived for myself. I lived in the darkness. I had no relationship with God. Then at the age of 40, through a well-meaning youth pastor, a seed was planted that the Holy Spirit used to do an amazing work in me. I now walk in the light; and every time I look back on my life in the darkness I can see the times where God could have given up on me but didn’t. God is good. He does not give up on anyone. His will is for everyone, regardless of their life in the darkness, to turn to Him. If they do, if they turn to the light that is provided through the blood of Christ, they too can have a relationship with Him. It will not always be easy. It will not always be what you dream it will be. But God will always be there and Jesus will always be there interceding for you.
As we begin 2014 I pray that we will all study and fully understand the meaning of these few simple verses and begin to live a life that reflects the light that Jesus so willing died to introduce us to. By achieving this understanding let us also worship God by sharing the Good News with others.