Friday, December 17, 2010

1 John 5:13-21

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.
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

Questions to consider
  • Has John’s purpose in writing this letter been accomplished in your life?
  • How can you be confident that God will answer your requests?
  • How do you respond when you see a brother in sin? Why?
  • How are John’s emphasis on love for your brothers and sisters and the recommended prayer in verse 16 related?
  • What three great truths does John know?
  • What kind of idols do you need to keep yourself from today?
Possibilities for prayer:

This particular passage is rather reassuring as we think about prayer and what that looks like in our lives. We worship and serve a God who wants to give us whatever we ask according to his will. It seems that the key phrase here is “according to his will.” Today, let’s pray that God would help us to have desires so lined up with that will that fulfilling the “according to his will” component would not even need to be a thought in our minds. This way, we can approach God confidently, knowing that He hears us.