What do you believe?
I just started reading a nonfiction book about how to live an authentic life in a world that no longer runs on the (outdated) standard life approaches passed down through generations. It challenges readers to identify the stories we’ve been told and continue to tell ourselves which may or may not be true.
We live out what we believe. In other words, our beliefs—conscious or not—determine our actions.
If we believe human beings are selfish, then we won’t find ourselves inclined to serve others. Why should I give my time (because I’m selfish) to help others who won’t help themselves (because they’re selfish)? We definitely won’t give $5 to the homeless guy on the street corner.
If I believe I’m lazy (perhaps something I heard and internalized from a parent, teacher or coach), then it’s unlikely I will bring to completion even an exciting new project. How can I? I’m lazy.
But people aren’t always selfish, and I don’t have to be lazy. Those things might be true sometimes but they aren’t consistently true. I can reverse the stories and choose to interact differently with the world.
Some things, however, are consistently true.
Jesus is God, from everlasting to everlasting.
And Jesus took on flesh to show humans the way to the Father.
If I truly believe that Jesus is the eternal God, and if I trust both the witness of those who saw and heard and touched Him in the flesh and my own experience of fellowship with Him, then that will necessarily affect my decisions. John calls Jesus “the Word of life.” Because I believe in Him, I trust this Word to lead me to a fuller, more satisfying life. A life lived in love with the One who gave everything for love of me, and a life lived shoulder-to-shoulder with His beloved people.
It may not be an easier life (it could be much harder!), but I believe it will be a true life.
Walk in Love
Week 1: Word of Life
1 John 1:1-4
Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met or seen up close? Describe your experience of them.
Read 1 John 1:1-4 slowly several times through.
How does John describe Jesus (vv1-2)? What strikes you about this description?
Why does it matter that John has seen, heard and touched Jesus (vv1-2)?
What reason does John give for writing this letter (vv3-4)?
What’s the connection between John’s proclamation and the community’s fellowship and joy (vv3-4)?
What difference does it make to you personally that Jesus was “from the beginning”? That real people experienced Him in the flesh? That He is “the Word of life”?
Is it possible to have true fellowship (Greek: koinonia) with people who don’t have a relationship with the Father through His Son, Jesus? Why or why not?
How do you experience Jesus in your daily life?
How do you describe Jesus to people who haven’t experienced Him?
How does shared fellowship with God and others increase your joy?
Thank God for the Word of life!