Thursday, August 20

Live as Jesus did

Scripture: Jeremiah 21, 27, Psalm 118, 1 John 2

1 John 2:3–6 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Observation

John wrote to correct some false ideas that were common, among them that the knowledge of God was mystical, theoretical, speculative rather than practical and experiential.  Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnosis = to know) led to a mystical knowledge of God that was divorced from ethical behavior—it didn’t matter what you did.  John attacks this head on and says, “If you know God, it shows in how you live.  You obey God.  You live like Jesus.”

Disciples of Jesus are those who are following Him, becoming like Him and learning to do what He says.  A disciple is an apprentice seeking to become like his/her master.  We are to make disciples by “teaching them to obey everything” Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).

Does this mean that we are saved because we obey?  Of course not.  The first two verses clearly say that Jesus is our advocate, the righteous one whose sacrifice atoned for our sins.  We aren’t saved because we obey; we obey because we are saved.  

Is John expecting perfection?  Of course not.  John is not saying that disciples perfectly imitate the Master, but that we want to and take it seriously and are making progress because He loves us and we love Him.

Application

Here is today’s challenge: live as Jesus lived.  Follow the example of Jesus—what would Jesus do?  And obey the teaching of Jesus—live the ethic of Jesus.  That’s my desire.  I know that I need the Spirit’s help!

Prayer: Lord, I want to authentically follow You, and that means living like you lived—being Your apprentice and disciple.  I want that.  Fill me with Your Spirit and “live Your life in me.”