Recently I was reading in 2 Peter and I paused in chapter 3, verses 17-18. These are Peter's final words in 2 Peter, let's just read it together;
"You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen." - 2 Peter 3:17-18
Come on! Can we take a minute to really think about these verses. Rather you must grow in grace and knowledge, don't let the things of this world and all its craziness keep you from fully and unreservedly following after Jesus with everything in you. As followers of Christ we have been called to be the salt and light of the nations, to be proclaimers of the gospel message to anyone and everyone who will listen.
We have been called to be proclaimers of the gospel to all people in all nations, my pastor puts it this way, to be a proclaimer means you are for the claims of Christ. If you are for the claims of Christ than it is your job to go out and spread that message to everyone you come in contact with. 1 John 1, begins in a sense where Peter left off the book before, let's read it together.
"We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. he was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us." - 1 John 1:1-2
This is going to be a scripture heavy post, but honestly aren't those the best ones?! In order to grow in your relationship with Christ you have to dig into His word and allow it to take root in your life. Let's continue reading later in the chapter of 1 John 1,
"This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing truth." - 1 John 1:5-6
God is light, so if we are living in fellowship with Him then we are living in the light. We cannot proclaim to live in fellowship with Him and stay in spiritual darkness, that's just not how it works. John continues,
"But is we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his S0n, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." - 1 John 1:7-9
As believers we are called to be imitators of Christ, showing everyone around us who He is and spreading the gospel message wherever we go. That being the case it is so vital that we are living in the light. Just as the scripture above states, if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all wickedness. We serve a just and good God, friends! His goodness and mercy never runs out. There is nowhere we could ever run to that He isn't already there.
If I were to set down and recount the number of times I have seen the goodness and mercy of God in my own life, we would be here all day. He has been with me through all the ups and downs of life and has walked with me through the deepest waters I have faced. Through it all I found comfort in who my God is and the promises He has given us throughout scripture. Our God is so good!
Chapter 2 of 1st John begins with a warning of sorts from John,
"My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins-and not only our sins but the sins of all the world." -1 John 2:1-2
This is the message that we are called to proclaim to all people in every nation. He is for you not against you, He loves you and His mercies are renewed every morning. What an amazing God we serve! The chapter continues,
"And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, 'I know God', but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did." - 1 John 2:3-6
Friends, I'll leave you with this reminder - you are the sons and daughters of God, a royal priesthood, a holy people, called by His name to do every good work. As you walked out your day to day life, remember that you are loved by the creator of the universe and called to share His message with all the world. You are kingdom builders, grown and rooted in grace.
Grow in grace and truth while you continue to live in the light!
Much love friends,