Tuesday February 23, 2021
Today’s Scripture: I John 5:20-21
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
I have a bad habit of skimming over the ends of chapters in books I read. I assume that the author has already made their point and the last paragraph is just closing material. So I move on to the next chapter. Occasionally I will go back and notice something amazing that was said in the last few sentences of the chapter. But most often the author puts their main point up front.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Biblical writers. Well, Paul always put all those greetings at the end – but other than him, there are some good things that happen at the end of Bible books. Take for example the end of Matthew in which we get the Great Commission. Or, for another example, our text today.
The writer of 1st John finishes his letter with an almost perfect summary of what it means to be a Christian: Jesus came so that we can know God – and now we live in fellowship with God because we live in fellowship with his Son. It is this fellowship leads to eternal life because God is eternal. Verse 20 summarizes his whole letter. And really, he could have ended it there.
But wait, there’s more! The author throws in one more sentence and it packs a punch. “Keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”
Wow. When I read this very last verse in 1st John it stops me in my tracks. Is there anything in my life that I’ve let take the place of God in my heart? Is there anything that I give more attention to – more affection to – more honor to?
Reading through the Bible as we have been doing these past weeks has a lot of advantages. But one of the drawbacks is reading so quickly that we might miss verses like this – hidden in the last part of a book.
Today let’s think about what might be taking the place of God in our hearts. And recommit to giving God first place. Period.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Week 8, Feb. 22-28: John, 1-3 John, Revelation
Day 36 pp. 424-437 Joh 13:1-21:25
Day 37 pp. 439-452 1 Jo 1:1-5:21; 2 Jo 1:1-13; 3 Jo 1:1-15
Day 38 pp. 453-459 Rev 1:1-3:22
Day 39 pp. 460-471 Rev 4:1-14:20
Day 40 pp. 471-482 Rev 15:1-22:21