Today’s post is part of a series to help us take what we learn on Sunday into the rest of the week. These posts summarize the main points from the week’s sermon and include questions for continued reflection and prayer. The posts in this series are written by members of our church’s Adult Christian Formation team.
This past Sunday our service theme was “God is True.” Pastor Ben wrapped up our 1 John series on Basic Christianity, looking at 1 John 5:20-21. These verses reiterate again a major theme of 1 John which is certainty about who God is. In these final two verses, John gives his readers a great assurance and a great command.
A Great Assurance: We know the true God. John emphasizes the word “know” over and over to affirm that our knowledge of God is certain and true. The people of Israel in Deuteronomy experienced God’s protection and deliverance yet they did not understand or grasp the extent of God’s love. But in Jesus, we see both the hard evidence of God’s overwhelming love and we gain knowledge of God’s love for us. Our confidence is both in historical truth and experience of God’s personal love.
A Great Command: Keep yourselves from idols. Idols (or counterfeits) can be anything that we allow to stand in for God. Where do we seek our source of significance, security, or purpose? Idols don’t come looking for us rather we go looking for them to meet our needs. But when left unchecked, idols will eat us and others alive.
Both the assurance and the command are rooted in Jesus. Seeking to re-create a relationship with God through other means will never satisfy because eternal life is not a commodity but a person.
Questions for Prayer and Reflection:
- Reflect on how you define your worth. Where does God show up in the picture?
- Pray that God would reveal your idols to you. You may wish to use this resource to help you discern your functional gods: X-Ray Questions by David Powlison.
- Pastor Ben noted that idols lie to you in your own voice. Reflect on your closest relationships. Are there people in your life who will speak truth to you? Why or why not?
- Reflect on God’s love for you today. In what specific ways have you experienced it?