By Martha Joy
In 1 John we read, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1:6,7; 2:3)
We, as Christians, desire to live in the light, to serve and love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30), and to bring glory to His name. What does this entail? What, really, does “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:31-33) mean?
My goal with this article is to study some of these ideas, through His word, and Lord willing, explore the true definition of being a Christian – living for God.
Try closing your eyes while walking. You might go along fine for awhile, in your own eyes, but to others you’ll probably appear to be stumbling, and walking in a crooked line. Now open your eyes – the glorious light! It guides our way and we can see clearly to step over things and walk in a straight manner. While light is “physical,” it’s also spiritual.
Throughout the Bible the concept of light vs. darkness is mentioned numerous times. Jesus told us in John 3:20&21 that everyone practicing evil hates the light and do not come to the light (lest their deeds should be exposed). But, he who does the truth comes to the light. The light is so desirable, as it gives us brightness, guidance and joy!
In our spiritual walk we need that guidance and help, that brightness to guide our steps, and that joy in life, to keep us pressing on. But where can we find this light, the one that gives us hope? Jesus said, in John 8:12: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
What peace and joy to know that our Savior – Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God – is a light to us! Through him we are saved from our sins – by his death on the cross – and have hope of eternal life!! What a gift!
If our Father – by the death of His son – has given us the hope of living forever and has saved us from our terrible, fleshly sins, what ought we to do? We should worship and serve Him (Matthew 4:10b) – and obey His commandments which He has placed before us.
I hope and pray, dear friend, that you will choose the life of constant commitment and service to our YHWH and joy in serving Him and living in the light of the world: God’s son. For God saved us from our sins and it’s His desire that we serve and obey Him – what a small price for us to pay for eternal life!!
After coming to the light, confessing our sins, and being baptized, how can we continue to live out God’s will and serve Him?
What a blessing it is to have the Bible. In it we find God’s commandments, instruction, correction, and refreshment. The life of Jesus is an amazing story to study – to ponder how he came to the earth and fulfilled God’s will. He taught his disciples, giving them God’s commandments so we should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:21-24). Jesus spoke in parables, yet He gave his disciples understanding (Mark 4:11).
Disciple means “taught or trained one.” Parables are also sometimes difficult for us to fathom, but coming to Jesus, adopting him as our teacher, we find understanding. For after all, he is the light of the world, as we studied earlier! With Jesus as teacher, we are seeking to be his disciples – to be taught and trained by him! How can we be that unwavering disciple of him – one who’s always sitting at his feet, as Mary, gleaning from His truths?
Jesus said, “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me” (Jn. 6:57). So, let us feed on his words – for he is the bread of life (Jn. 6:35) – which we find in the gospels, obeying God’s commandments.
Try reading through the gospels, asking for God’s insights as you read. Read carefully, pondering on each commandment and even make it a point to write down each one, to go over later and practice.
I would like to point out the importance of obeying God’s commands. This is the fundamental way by which we become disciples of Jesus: by obeying his Father’s commands. 1 John says, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (See also James 2:18:26)
Also Jesus talked about losing our life and forsaking all to follow him. In Matthew 6 he said to “seek first the kingdom of God and all these things [food, drink, clothing] will be added unto you.”
Often life gets us busy in everyday things and we stray away from our primary focus. We might enjoy photography, reading, rubber stamping, gardening, or star gazing and while some of these can be quite exciting and if used to glorify God, wonderful, if it draws us away from our focus on YHWH, that is wrong! He wants our whole focus, He wants our full aim to be living for Him. For after all He saved us, through His Son! He deserves our ALL and that is what He requires of us – to live for Him. For Jesus said that “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14; emphasis mine)
Will we be one of those few? Colossians 3:1-4, 5a says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth.”
We are to not value our life on this earth, except as a life that we can use for God’s glory. We are to turn our life over to Him and live holy, purely for Him. We are to be disciples of God’s son and follow under his light – abiding in the true vine and bread of life: Jesus the Christ.
He plainly stated in Luke 14:33, “whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” What a powerful verse.
So then, let us turn from our self-minded focus – and walk the life of a disciple of Jesus, obeying his commands, and abiding in God’s love.
May God bless you as you seek Him and seek to be followers and walk as Jesus walked.
Martha Joy (16) lives with her sweet family on a farm in the SE, where she enjoys goats and other animals, photography, gardening, leatherwork, playing the fiddle, writing and more. Her desire above all is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and live the humble and joy-filled life of a disciple of the son of God. Visit her monthly magazine blog.