Two of the most difficult things to get straight in life are love and God. The two can’t be separated. To love the right way we have to be right with God and to deal with God the right way, we have to learn to love the right way.
For John’s instruction to the churches on this we look at 1 John:
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.1 John 1:1-2
John is reminding the churches of what he taught them while he was with them. He doesn’t want them to forget the important things. He’s reminding us that the God Jesus revealed to us. Some people want to make up their own idea of God and how love works. John wrote to the churches to remind them how this works. God and love.
Jesus the Messiah is the focus of these letters because God and love are linked in Jesus. When people don’t like everything that a church believes, the church divides and they start a new church. That’s why we have different denominations.
3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.1 John 1:3-4
John writes of fellowship with one another as a common bond between the believers. But he goes on to talk about a relationship with the Father and the Son. This is a game changer! This is what so many people are missing in their lives. Jesus came to earth to be in relationship with the people and God is here with us in the Holy Spirit.
We share our life with Jesus and he shares his life with us. When we grasp this it is powerful!
We have two tribes: those who have a relationship with Jesus and those who don’t. Realize that it’s not enough to ”know” Jesus. That’s not enough. Relationship is essential. But how will those who don’t know Jesus become part of the tribe that does know him? That’s where we come in. It’s up to us, the church, to share this with those who don’t know.
When we consider how Jesus would react to the world we live in, how would Jesus protest? What would he post on Facebook? Would he ever insinuate violence? Or use hate speech? If your answer is yes, you’re doing it wrong. If it’s not, that’s good. But are you sharing your life with His?
Going to church on Sunday is not enough, it takes more than an hour or two a week to build a relationship. Reading through the Bible or even memorizing scripture isn’t building a relationship either. They aren’t bad things, but they can’t be the only thing we know about Jesus.
Why does relationship matter? Those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus will spend eternity in hell. That’s kind of a big deal! They’ll never have joy. They’ll never have enough money, never have enough stuff, or be satisfied with what they’ve got or the circumstances they’re in. Joy and happiness aren’t the same thing. Happiness is based on circumstances. The result of fellowship is fullness of joy. Optimism and cheerfulness based on God, instead of happiness that is based on circumstances.
We can share this joy with others by being in relationship with them and sharing our lives with them. We can’t expect one or two people in our churches to do this. It takes all of us reaching out to those who don’t know.