Friday Devotional
July 5, 2024


Meditate on 1 John 1:1-4.

The apostles and the early Christians had the privilege of knowing Jesus Christ in His humanity. They talked with Him, saw Him, heard Him, and touched Him. The apostles spent three years with Jesus before His crucifixion, and spent time with Him after His resurrection.

Through Jesus, God gave eternal life to the apostles. Here we see that to possess eternal life is to have “fellowship” with God the Father and with His Son. We tend to use “fellowship” to refer to time spent together with fellow Christians. However, in the New Testament the word has a much deeper meaning.

“Fellowship” speaks of “union” and “participation”. So, when John says that they have “fellowship” with the Father and Jesus, he means that they are united to God in Jesus. Through faith, God has given His life—eternal life—to them. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This new birth occurs when sinners like you or me repent of our sins and trust in Jesus alone to save us. Apart from this kind of faith we cannot be united to and “have fellowship with” God and Jesus. And, if we have not been born again, we cannot have true fellowship with other Christians.

So, the beginning of true fellowship with God and His church is a union with God through faith in Christ. There can be no genuine Christian unity apart from faith in Christ. Have you received new life in Christ? If not, are you willing to turn from your sin and trust Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? If you have questions about your faith, talk with your small group leader or another adult today!

Saturday Devotional
July 6, 2024


Meditate on 1 John 1:5-2:2.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” What a wonderful revelation and promise! Just as God is light, so is the Son. If we follow Jesus, we walk in the light with Jesus and God! This is how we maintain fellowship with God.

Walking in the light means walking with Jesus in God’s good way. This is the path of obedience. It is the path of life (Psalm 16:11) and of joy (Psalm 119:35). God’s Word leads us to this path and helps us to “run” in it (Psalm 119:32, 105). On this path we have fellowship with God and one another, “and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (verse 7).

Sadly, we stray from the path of obedience each day. We walk away from Jesus into darkness, instead of walking with Him in light. In the darkness, we cannot enjoy our fellowship with God. We feel distant from Him and we lose the joy of our salvation. And, when we are walking in sin, our fellowship and unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ will also suffer.

So, what do we do when we have chosen to walk in darkness? We turn back to Jesus again. The Bible calls this repentance. In verse 9, we are instructed to confess our sins, and given this promise: “[God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God will forgive His children because His Son has paid for our sins (2:1-2). This is how we return to the path of light.

In the same way, when we sin against our brothers and sisters, we need also to confess our sins to them also and ask them to forgive us. And when they sin against us, we are to forgive them. (See Colossians 3:13.) This is humbling, yet it is essential for unity in Christ’s church.

Sunday Devotional

July 7, 2024


Meditate on 1 John 3:1-3.

Sometimes the path of obedience can seem to be a great burden. It can feel like the path of light leads straight up a high mountain and requires a kind of strength and ability that we don’t possess. But it ought not to be this way.

Our passage this morning reminds us of the true identity of those who trust in Jesus. We are the children of God. The reason God calls us His children is because we really are! That should amaze us! God made rebellious sinners like us His very own children. We didn’t do that; we couldn’t do that. But God did, personally and purposefully.

When a Christian begins to think more and more about the reality that he is God’s beloved child, his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors begin to change. When a child knows that she is deeply loved by her earthly father, she will want to live in a way that pleases her father. When we let our minds dwell on the truth of our true identity in Christ, we experience how dearly God loves us as His children. Then, resting in His perfect love changes us.

For example, hoping in God as our true Father “purifies” us (v. 3). How? The more we relate to God as His little child, the more we will want—and fight—to walk close with Him in the light (vv. 3-10). It also empowers us to love our brothers and sisters (vv. 11-18). It reassures us of God’s forgiveness and love (vv. 19-24). And, it gives us peace (v. 2).

So let us remember who we are in Christ so that we may “be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2).