Observations and Interpretations
- The world does not know us because we are children of God and they don’t know God. I take this to mean that they don’t understand us. No argument here. Christians are misunderstood and at times hated because of that misunderstanding. Don’t get me wrong, some Christians do things that set themselves up for being misunderstood. But I think the very nature of our rebirth makes us a foreign thing to non-believers.
- “We knowthat when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” The Holy Spirit is constantly in the process of making us more like Christ. So this should be no surprise. But it is still encouraging to hear.
- “No one who abides in Him sins ; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” – I take that to mean that those that continually sin or live a life filled with sin don’t know him. I think the scriptures are clear that we all sin even after salvation.
- “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.” – see first bullet point.
- “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” – God always sets his standards high. We show our love for each other by dying to self and living to meet the needs of others. I’m not there yet – I’m far too selfish – but I’m trying.
- “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” Actions speak louder than words.
- “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God ; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep Hiscommandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” – Not sure I fully understand this but I take it to mean that if we are not sinful in our hearts, we can take our requests to the Lord. I think we know from other passages that this isn’t a name-it-claim-it sort of thing. I believe that if our heart is right with the Lord, our desires will be aligned with his and he will of course give us what both he and we want.
- “We know by this that Heabides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” – it is sometimes easy to forget that we have the Spirit of the Lord living within us, but it is a great reminder to never take that for granted.
- I need to remind myself that I am set apart and different from the world and that I have the Holy Spirit residing in me.
- That will prompt me to set aside my selfish desires and to live to love others with a servant-leader’s heart.