JESUS IS REAL AND KNOWING HIM BRINGS JOY.
Jesus was/is an actual person. John touched him, listened to him, saw him with his own two eyes. The Jesus that John is telling people about is for everyone – from all walks of life and all stages of faith. No matter where you are in your
faith journey, Jesus is applicable. John is sharing and proclaiming this REAL Jesus to his readers, because doing so will bring joy to John as well as his readers.
As we get MOVE started this year, we want everyone who comes to know that the same Jesus John is writing about is still very much alive and very real – just as he was then. No matter where a student falls on the faith spectrum, there is
something for them this week. JESUS is for them this week, and He wants them to have joy. It seems like in verses 3 & 4 of chapter 1 John is saying, “We want you to be in our group – we want you to join us, have fellowship with us…and if you have fellowship with us then you’ll have fellowship with God and with His Son Jesus…and that will bring ALL of us joy!” We want to invite students in to the experience of MOVE, and to have fellowship with one another, as well as with God. There is much joy to be had this week – together and with Jesus.
1 John 1.1-4
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. 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[a] joy complete.
1 John 2.12-14
I am writing to you, dear children,because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.13 I am writing to you, fathers,because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.14 I write to you, dear children,because you know the Father.I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.I write to you, young men, because you are strong,and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
RELATIONSHIPS EXPOSE WHERE WE LIVE.
In so many ways, John isn’t telling us anything new. Those reading John’s letter would know the two great commandments: LOVE GOD & LOVE OTHERS. So…how are your relationships? How is your relationship to God right now? What does your relationships with others reveal? As we begin the week, we need to be willing to be honest about where we are – because that’s the only way that real change can happen.
1 John 2.7-11;
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
STEP INTO THE LIGHT.
Life in the dark is miserable. When we live in the dark, we do not have fellowship with others, and we do not have fellowship with God. There is no darkness at all in God. Claiming to be in the light doesn’t make it so…we have to be honest about the darkness we live in and step out of it. Yes, we’ll be exposed for who we actually are…but we will also find forgiveness and the reasons we had to staying in the darkness will be obliterated by the grace of the gospel of Jesus. When we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful to forgive.
1 John 1.5-10
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
BELIEVE IN JESUS – EVERY DAY.
Belief is active, not a one-time occurrence. John implores his readers to remain…to keep going, keep believing. All of this hinges on who we believe Jesus to be…He is the one in whom we place our faith and trust. Eternal life is continual belief in Him. Life in this world is a continual battle between belief and denial…and overcoming it can only be done by faith in Jesus.
1 John 2.21-25
21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.
BELIEVING HEARTS CAN REST.
God’s love for us is not affected by the quality of our belief…it really is the other way around. Even as we pursue the light and battle against the darkness, we can sometimes get caught up into thinking that our belief is the thing we should hope in, rather than the one in whom we believe. God is calling us to believe in His Son, Jesus. When we believe in Him, we find that we can truly love one another. Our hearts often condemn us – reminding us of our failures and ventures into the darkness. But God is greater than our failures and fears. Do you want a heart that can be at rest? Then let that heart believe in Jesus.
1 John 3.19-23
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
LOVE GOD AND DO WHAT HE SAYS.
Sometimes the answer itself is really easy. Living it out – not so much. The reality is that if you believe in Jesus, you should obey Him and do what he tells you to do. Rebellion is a lack of belief. Overcoming our rebellion doesn’t happen by doing better and trying harder – it comes by belief in Jesus.
1 John 5.1-5,
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5.13-15
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
JESUS DIED FOR REBELS
Here’s the reality: We’re still going to mess it up…we’re still going to rebel. Even though we take steps, we still fall short and rebellion and disbelief creeps in. In those moments, we need to know what it means for Jesus to be our Advocate. Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins – the one perfectly obedient to the Father.
1 John 2.1-6
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
LOVE LEAVES NO ROOM FOR FEAR.
Those who know they are loved by God are fearless. They literally have NOTHING to fear…God loves them and has sent Jesus to prove it. They live lives of fearless love that points others back to the Father.
1 John 4.7-21
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
LOVING LIKE JESUS
The calling is to love the way Jesus did – by being willing to suffer, to sacrifice that others might be drawn closer to God. Loving like Jesus means you lay your life on the line…it goes beyond words and talking. Loving like Jesus is active,
self-sacrificing, truthful love.
1 John 3.16-18
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.