Anglican Morning Devotion, 30 December 2021 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 7Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. 12I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 JOHN 2:1-17; all scripturequoted is from the King James Version)
This text, taken from the Lectionary for the day, is an extension of the text for yesterday from First John Chapter One. It is a continuation of the nature of God the Father, His Son Jesus, and the indwelling work of the Holy Ghost in the believer as well as in those whom the Lord through effectual calling come to the Throne of Grace.
There are three salient Principles mentioned in this text – the WORD, LOVE, and LIGHT. These three topics are completely characteristic of all of Apostle John’s writings in his Gospel as well as epistles. We will briefly discuss these three in our remarks today.
- The Word of God: One great gift of mankind is our ability to think with words. If we program our brains with vulgar words and expressions, our thoughts will follow in the nature of those words of moral derogation. But if we daily consume the Bread of Heaven (Words of the Gospel and other biblical texts) our thoughts will be channeled by the words we have hidden in our hearts to guard against sinful inclinations. In fact, if we have filled our hearts with the Word of God, even our conscious thinking will comport with the very Mind of God for His Mind and Will are expressed in those Words. We can trust His Words as immutable and true. “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalms 12:6-7) The Psalmist does not use the term ‘word’ here, but ‘words!’ Every single WORD is pure and precious. God will preserve those words forever unless you trust Bible versions that claim God has not preserved them and, so, delete entire passages thereof.
- Love: Love is the most powerful word in the Bible for it incorporates the fullness of God’s work of grace on our behalf. But it also includes every area of the life of the saint. Love is the one possession that survives death and that which we carry with us to the Throne of God. (See Romans 8:35-39) Love for God is directly related to our love for our fellow man, and even the innocent creatures of His Creation. God is the Maker of our pets in the same sense as He is the Maker of ourselves. The only new Commandment our Lord gave us is: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34) How much did Christ love us? Enough to die in our stead for our sins! John emphasizes love always. Our love for one another is the seal by which others know we belong to Christ. (See John 13:35)
- Light: This refers not only to the light of day whereby the safe path is revealed for our walking, but a great Spiritual Light that guides, yes, our thoughts, actions, and dispositions toward others. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. He is that great self-generating Light by which we know God, His Love, His Word, and His Will. He reveals truth and mercy to His people. He came to us as a comfort to redeem us from sin and to show us the excellent Way that He defined in Himself. He is the Way, Truth and the LIGHT. Upon ascension to the Father, He did not leave us comfortless, but sent His Holy Spirit to continue to lead and to reveal the truth in God’s Word to us. The Holy Spirit has one mission – to point always to Jesus Christ and reveal His Word to us. He will not speak of Himself but always point to Christ as LIGHT and Truth. He gives us comfort in the storm, and light when the darkness is smothering. Do we have that Spirit in our Hearts that extols Christ as Savior, Redeemer, King, and Lord?