Meditations for the Week of December 5, 2022

Browse this week's meditations.

Wheat Field in Wind


1 John 5:1-5 

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 

In this passage John combines belief, love, and obedience as marks of the follower of Christ.  None is placed above the other, but love for each other creates the space needed for all God’s children to journey toward the Father through Jesus Christ. 

  • What does your love for others look like? 
  • Are there ways that your belief and commitment to obedience conflicts with love for others?  Why or why not? 
  • John says that the conquerors of the world are those who believe in Christ and whose tool is faith.  How does your faith act as an instrument of victory? 

Gracious God, May our love for you reflect in our love for others as your character is formed in us.  May our belief in and obedience to You be hammered out in our relationships as they are characterized by love and serve to shape us into your image.  May we invite others into the victory found through faith in Christ.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 


1 John 5:6-9 

6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth. 7 There are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree. 9 If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. 

Some scholars believe that Christ’s deity and mission is seen in his baptism and crucifixion.  We see God made flesh in the words spoken over Jesus at his baptism, in his excruciating death and resurrection, and in the Spirit who continues to reveal truth to us.  We have the honor of carrying the testifying Spirit of Christ within us. 

  • What does Jesus’ baptism mean to you?  (You can review it in Matthew 3:13-17) 
  • What feelings and emotions emerge as you ponder the crucifixion? 
  • How do you experience the Spirit as testifier to Christ? 

Gracious God, you show us once again that You – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – work in unity with one another, showing Yourself to us.  It is love that binds Trinity and we pray that our growing understanding of you will result in the growing, binding love for one another, for your glory and the sake of the world.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 


1 John 5:10-13 

 10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 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. 

This is John’s conclusion, after a full discourse on what it means (and doesn’t mean) to follow Christ.  In a culture where knowledge was taking center stage, John reminds his readers that following Jesus is an act of heart and mind, but is played out in its fullness in our capacity to love one another.  That was the new commandment that Jesus laid out and this is what John has reminded us in his letter. 

  • Are there ways that your desire to know more or do more for Christ gets in the way of your desire to love? 
  • What does practicing love look like? 
  • Who do you know who manifests God’s love out of their faith in Christ? 

Gracious God, thank you for this good letter that we need to hear.  It is so easy to fill our minds with knowledge that never makes it to our heart and then out into our hands and feet.  Help us to love one another, finding commonality in the mercy of God, through Christ, and to humbly live in community with one another as You do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 


1 John 5:14-17 

14 And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. 16 If you see your brother or sister committing what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God will give life to such a one—to those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal. 

John invites us as we journey with Christ to demonstrate the boldness we have that we have received eternal life by asking audaciously for what we need according to his will.  We are free to ask without fear of rejection.  Knowing this we can live in prayer for others as well, entrusting them to God. 

  • Is there something that you want to ask God for but are hesitant?  If so, why? 
  • Are there ways that you are focused on the sin of others, rather than releasing them to God? 
  • Who are you praying for?  How easy is it for you to release them to God? 

Gracious God, thank you that there are no limits to your love or capacity to give to us what we need.  Thank you for loving those we love and are praying for.  We entrust them to you and ask that you draw them to yourself.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 


1 John 5:18-21 

18 We know that those who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them. 19 We know that we are God’s children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one. 20 And we know 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, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.  21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 

We end today with the last verses of 1 John.  Perhaps the first part of vs. 18 is troubling because we know ourselves and that we are sometimes prone to sin, but there is great comfort in the rest of this passage.  As John finishes out, he lays out the things we can know, the simple truths that we are about as we are invited to follow, not truth, but Truth – that is, the One who is true.  May that be our heart’s desire that frees us from idolizing anything above God.  

  • What of the truths listed that we know give you comfort? 
  • How do you live in the reality of these truths? 
  • How is following the truth different than following the One who is true? 

Gracious God, as we acknowledge what you have given and the invitation to follow you as the True One, open our hands to release anything that may get precedence over You in our lives.  We desire to live for you and reflect you to all and ask that it would be so in our lives.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.