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Thoughts to Ponder from 1 John 2:22-28 and John 1:19-28

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1 John 2:22-28 (ESV)

22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Children of God

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

“Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you…then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father” (1 John 2:24)

When an architect draws up the plans for a new building, he or she must calculate how deep to dig the foundation, based on the weight that the foundation must bear. So here’s a question: Do you feel your foundation is strong enough to bear the weight of the challenges you are currently facing? If your foundation is Jesus, the answer is a resounding yes!

In the Gospel reading, we see how deep a foundation John the Baptist had. Boldly speaking against the sins and injustices of his day. John was not shaken in the least when Israel’s religious leaders came to question him. In the plainspoken  manner that comes from humility, John simply answered, “I am not” when they asked if he was the Messiah or Elijah or the “Prophet” Moses had predicted (John 1:20, 21). Without fanfare or defensiveness, he pointed them to “the one…whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie” (1:27).

It seems like a simple exchange, but those few words show how clear John was about his calling. They show that his foundation – his faith in God and in the mission he had received – was strong, deep, and more than able to support him.

How can we build the same foundation? By taking the words from John’s epistle to heart – the words at the top of this devotional. We can “remain” in Christ, unswayed and undisturbed, if we try to build our lives on the truths of the gospel. “Jesus, you are the Messiah. You died for all sin and rose again. You love me with an everlasting love. You have redeemed me and filled me with your Holy Spirit, Lord, I belong to you!”

Hold onto these truths. Proclaim them in your prayer time every day. Then, when your faith is challenged, you will stand. When struggles or difficulties arise, you will be able to lean on the Lord. When Satan tries to undermine your belief in God’s love, you won’t be fooled. Like John the Baptist, you will be able to stand in confidence, conviction and joy!

Jesus, teach me to stand on all the truths you have planted in my heart. Help me open my heart to receive more of your life. Amen.

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