Day 9: 1 John 2:3-11
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
Over the years Missouri has come to be called the ‘Show Me’ state. One of its origin stories refers to a Missouri congressman who was quoted as saying, “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” Missourians were characterized with an unwillingness to trust without first seeing evidence. In today’s scripture, John might just be mistaken for a Missourian from the ‘show me’ state.
According to John, claiming to know God and saying that one walks in the way of Jesus wasn’t convincing enough. If a person really knew Jesus relationally and walked in holiness – loving God and loving others – then their life would match their claims in how they lived according to the word of God. John made no apologies when he referred to those who said they were Christians but did not live like Jesus as liars. He described people who resented and hated others as those who live in darkness, even though they say they live in the light.
Saying we are Christian isn’t proof. John teaches us that our love for God becomes reality in our obedience. The proof of to whom we belong – to God or to the world – is found in the choices we make every day. Who we are is the life we live. Our standard, or model, for what it means to be holy and how we ought to live is Jesus. If we are truly Christian then we will show it through our obedience to God and service to others.
Be bold in your obedience today. Speak more with your actions than with your words.
Phil Starr | Student Ministries Pastor, Lima Community Church