Loving Jesus First. . .
Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.
You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.
I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
–Psalm 4: 6-8
This week John is going to draw our attention to the Father of Light. He gives light to our life in many ways. Each day we will focus on the many facets of God’s light. Meditate on Psalm 4:6-8. Praise God for the warmth of His light, His provision and His peace.
DAY ONE: WORD OF LIFE
A. Read the first four verses of this epistle (I John 1:1-4).Listen to the tone of John’s opening remarks.
- What words does John use to show he is sure of what he is saying?
- What has John seen, heard and touched?
- Did anyone else have this experience along with John?
B. John also wrote the Gospel of John.
- What does he say about the Word of Life in John 1:1-4?
- What did the Word of God do according John 1:14?
- Where was the Word of God (Jesus) before He became flesh? (John 1:1)
- How does the wording of Genesis 1:26 confirm this fact?
C. Review I John 1:1-4 again.
- What is John proclaiming about the “Word of Life?” (verse 2)
- What is the motivation for this proclamation? (verse 3-4)
Life Points . . .
- John desired fellowship with believers and God, but he also knew that real joy would only be experienced when it was based on truth. God the Father cannot be separated from Jesus Christ. The two are one. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.”(John 14:9) You cannot have one without the other. Understanding just this much will diffuse much false teaching today. Talk to God about these facts. In a journal, write this sentence: “Jesus is God. God is Jesus.” Make a list of false teaching you have heard recently that does not support this 100%. (i.e., from radio, television, textbooks, paper and/or magazine articles etc.) Ask God to make you aware of false messages around you.
- Begin memorizing I John 1:6.
DAY TWO: WALKING IN THE LIGHT
A. Notice how God’s light is revealed in Psalm 19:8? Are you seeing God’s light bring you joy as you study His Word? Praise Him!
B. Jesus said, “The Spirit of truth will be with you and will be in you.” Pause for a moment and invite His Spirit to speak truth to your heart today as you study His Word.
C. Read I John 1:5-7. Think about light.
- What does light do?
- Think about darkness. What does darkness do?
- How does this describe God? (verse 5)
D. Read John 3:19-20.
- According to these verses, why does the world hate the Light?
- What do they fear?
E. I John 1:6 says: “If we claim to have fellowship with Him, yet walk in the darkness, we do not live by the truth.” In other words, if we say we belong to God, that we are His child, yet choose to keep on sinning, we are living a lie.
- Summarize the following passages: I John 1:7, Ephesians 5:8-16.
- How does the light affect our personal lives?
F. When we walk in the light, what two things happen to us? (I John 1:7)
G. From your study today, how would you define “walking in the light”?
Life Points . . .
- Are these areas in your life where the “Light” is not welcomed? Are there things you don’t want exposed before the Lord? You’re robbing yourself of true fellowship with God and the purifying work of Jesus’ blood. Will you now humble yourself before God, and allow His light to expose any darkness within? Talk honestly with Him. Remember, He loves you unconditionally.
- Continue memorizing 1 John 1:6.
DAY THREE: THE PROBLEM OF SIN
A. Psalm 27:1 paints a beautiful picture of God’s light. Imagine a world with no light at all. How does the light of God eliminate fear for you? Thank Him for being the light of life!
B Read I John 1:8-10. All religions deal with sins, but Christianity is the only faith that offers a permanent solution for sin. It is important that we understand exactly what sin is and how God deals with it. Could you explain it to someone? Truly experiencing God’s forgiveness is a priceless treasure. God freely offers His forgiveness to us. Today, we will explore the problem of sin and God’s solution. Tomorrow, we will study what confession and restoration means for us.
C. How is sin defined in Isaiah 53:6?
- What does Romans 14:23b about sin? (‘b’ means the second half of the verse)
- Where does sin begin according to Jesus in Mark 7:20-23?
- Is anyone exempt from sin? (Romans 3:23 and I John 1:8)
- How is sin a real problem?
D. Jesus knew exactly why He came. What does He say in the following verses about His purpose?
- John 6:38-40
- Luke 24:46-47
- Matthew 16:21
- Romans 3:23
Life Points . . .
- Sin is the problem of mankind; a problem that cannot be rectified in our human nature or by our human efforts. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Talk to God about this very real problem of sin, and the completely true solution He offers. Could you explain this sin problem to someone? Do you understand the solution Jesus’ blood provides? In your journal, begin writing your thoughts, based on truth, about these things.
- Keep memorizing I John 1:6.
DAY FOUR: CONFESSION
A. Quietly ponder Psalm 56:12-13. How can a person keep from stumbling? Walking in the “light of life” means walking closely with Jesus. What does that mean for you? Invite God’s light to lead you today.
B. Jesus came so that we may experience real forgiveness and live free from the burden of sin.
Read 1 John 1:8-10 again.
- What does it say that we first need to do? (verse 8)
- If we do not admit to our sin, what are we saying about God? (verse 10)
- What does that do to our relationship with Him?
C. What are the acts of the sinful nature, according to Galatians 5:19-21?
D. What’s the next step after we have specifically acknowledged our sin? (I John 1:9) Look up the word “confess” in the dictionary and define it.
E. Confession helps us. It removes the guilt we feel. Read Psalm 32:5. What happened when David finally acknowledged (confessed) his sin?
F. Remember, Jesus took care of our sin problem (Romans 4:7-8). Confession clears the path for us to walk closely with God (I John 1:7). What does Romans 5:1 say?
Life Points . . .
- Are you experiencing peace with God? True guilt or conviction, is a gift from God that restores fellowship with us. False guilt (guilty feelings after sincere confession) is from our enemy, Satan, who wants to steal our joy. If you are sensing conviction from God, stop and confess any sin He brings to your mind. Ask Him to give you the strength to “walk in the light”.
- In you journal, make a list of any sins God reveals to you. Now, boldly write “I John 1:9” over the top of your list. Those sins have been paid for by the blood of Jesus (His atonement) and your guilt is forgiven by God (Hebrews 10:22). Thank Him for the awesome gift of forgiveness. If Satan keeps jabbing at you with thoughts of those same sins, review this list and claim your forgiveness in Jesus’ names. Now you can tear up this list! (see Isaiah 43:25)
- Keep memorizing I John 1:6.
DAY FIVE: TRANSFORMING MERCY
A. Meditate on the following verses and talk to God about what you hear.
Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is. His good, pleasing and perfect will. –Romans 12:1-2
B. How do we continue to “walk in the light” daily? Is it possible to consistently enjoy intimate fellowship with God? Romans 12:1-2 outlines a practical guide to intimacy with God. Peter tells us to “prepare our minds for action” (I Peter 1:13). John says to “walk in the light” (I John 1:7), and in Romans, Paul gives us steps to take. Slowly read Romans 12:1-2 once again.
- What do we need to keep at the forefront of our minds at all times? (Romans 12:1)
- Thinking about your study this week, how was God’s mercy demonstrated? (Romans 5:8)
- What should our response be to this gift of mercy? (Romans 12:1)
C. What are we to stop doing according to Romans 12:2a? Where are we tempted to conform to these patterns? How can we stop yielding to these temptations and be transformed?
D. What does Ephesians 5:17 say? What is our source for understanding the will of God?
E. What will be the consequences in our lives from practicing these steps? (Romans 12:2b)
Life Points . . .
- Gaze at the mercy and grace of God. Give yourself to Him, true worship; stop conforming to the world. Grow into the likeness of Jesus through His transforming work. Gain His goodness in your life, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
- Are you ready to put Romans 12:1-2 into practice everyday? Communicate with your Heavenly Father. Write out Romans 12:1-2 on a 3×5 card and place it next to your bed. Read it with the Lord every morning for the next week. You may want to be on your knees while you are doing this. Go through each step with Him, asking Him to cultivate these steps into your daily experiences. Pay attention! God will work in you!
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Wrapping Up This Week…
Review this week’s lesson. Pray and ask God to identify one or more statements or Scriptures that He wants you to understand, learn, or practice. Underline them, then respond to the following questions.
- What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read this week?
- Pray that statement or Scripture to God.
- What does God want you to do in response to this week’s study?
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