Daily Devotion for June 1, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
For the bird who sings outside my window,or the tree that stands outside my door,
For the neighbor who waves and says "good morning",
I give you thanks dear God, for these and more,
Your blessings every morning know no limit,
Yet I often rush by not seeing them, I fear;
Let me take a moment this and every morning, God, I pray,
To see them all and know that you are here.
Prayer for the Holy Spirit's Guidance
Send your Holy Spirit to deepen my worship life.
Open my heart to the gifts and cultures which surround my church.
Open my heart to the people who are different from me.
In Jesus' name, I pray.
If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
1 John 1:1-4
Introduction to 1 John
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Notes on the Scripture
The John who wrote 1, 2 and 3 John is the same person who wrote the Gospel of John. He would have been at least 80 (and possibly over 90) when this was written (around 90 A.D.), but the content and writing style are so consistent the his gospel, that the authorship by John himself is not seriously in doubt. We are fairly sure that John was the only apostle to live to an old age and die of natural causes; he was the Bishop of Ephesus and would have been revered in the Christian community.
The epistle is general, written for the entire church. There were pockets of Christianity around the Mediterranean Sea and perhaps deeper into east Africa by this time, but Ephesus, on the east coast of Anatolia (Turkey) would have been close to the center.
The impetus for writing the epistle was the rise of a false teaching, that Jesus had not actually been a normal, flesh-and-blood human being. John simply knew, first-hand, that this was wrong. He, the last living apostle, was the perfect person to quash the heresy. He sets things straight in the very first paragraph, stating that he had personally witnessed that the Word had been "made manifest", that is, Jesus had been human.
In the epistle, John also tried to help his readers discern between teachers who grounded their teachings in truth and the many charlatans who had begun to spring up, teaching all kinds of nonsense that they made up. And, finally, he wanted to simply record his own teachings, especially the importance of love to Christian life.
The epistle not only reassured those of John's day, but is important to us, with all the confusion surrounding the authorship of the gospels. John, by his own hand, gives us a direct assurance that he had witnessed the life of Christ. John knew that future generations would not have eyewitnesses to Christ's life: the miracles, the teachings, His death and resurrection. So he wrote and signed a sort of affidavit, not only for his contemporary readers, but also for posterity, attesting that he had witnessed the events he wrote about.