Bible in a Year Series - Day #361 - This post is part of a year-long series where we are reading chronologically through the Bible. Click here to learn more. You are most welcome to join along at any time.
Today's text from the ESV Study Bible: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John.
It is believed that John wrote this letter from, and now resides perhaps in Ephesus prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d..
If my understanding is correct, these letters were written towards the end of the first century and many, if not all of the other apostles are now dead/martyred.
Gnosticism and other "anti-Christ" teachings were becoming vogue and in John's first letter, seemingly a sermon to be read to the churches, he challenges them to understand true doctrine, to practice obedient living, and to possess a fervent devotion to God.
I suppose this is no different than today.
If you were to ask which Americans believed in God, there would be a long, long line. But, now ask them to disclose their understanding of God, his wishes for us, and their understanding of truth, and the water gets very, very murky with literally thousands of "ways" rather than the "one way" that Jesus talked about.
When we allow ourselves to refrain from understanding true doctrine (found through diligent study of the Bible), and refuse to live a life of obedience to God, and subsequently lack a fervent devotion to God, then Satan is very pleased to supplant this with understandings that are more in line with the wishes of our fallen flesh.
"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above." (Hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
Let this be our prayer for 2011.