Am I really a child of God? Does God really love me? Do I really love God? Can I know for sure I’m going to heaven, when it seems like I’m such a disappointment to him? Does my life really matter?
When we take time away from our self pursuits and the busyness of life; when we turn off all the gadgets and try to really be still, we find there are lots of questions that our heart has been waiting to ask us. There are lingering doubts we’ve never addressed that long for a word of assurance. I love the answers found in 1 John 5 to these and other important questions.
First, it’s all about faith. Faith in Jesus as God’s Son. Faith that expresses itself through his love. This is the true mark of a child of God, one who believes, trusts, and obeys. For sure, our faith and love are imperfect. We waiver and stray. But just as your child has the assurance they belong to you and are always loved by you so you, dear child, have the same assurance from God. He knows you and you belong to him.
An old song said, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” God says the same thing. In fact, our love and obedience to his love is the evidence of our faith. We can say we believe something but if we don’t act on it, do we really believe it?
If our faith is real, if we really believe, we will learn to increasingly act on it. We’ll choose love over hate, compassion over apathy, peace over fear, worth over shame, trust and assurance over doubt and worry. Faith is God’s design for us to make better trades in life so we can live victoriously, not as slaves to our feelings and circumstances. Who can have this assurance? Anyone who really believes Jesus at his Word who listens to and obeys his Spirit who testifies to his truth.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe inthe name of the Son of God so you may KNOW you have eternal life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. ( 1 John 5:11-13)
But the assurance is not just for eternal life. It’s for abundant life now, no matter what circumstances you face: cancer, pain, sorrow, loneliness, and troubles of all sorts. You can doubt it and try to find success in your own strength OR you can be sure, knowing God’s assurance for a victorious life is yours.
What are you going to believe?
(Thoughts on 1 John 5)