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Reality Check

Reality Check

24 August 2010

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 33-34; Psalm 74; 1 John 5

Scripture:

13 My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. 14 And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. 15 And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours. (1 John 5:13-15 MSG)

Reading through 1 John in Eugene Peterson’s Message translation, I have particularly noticed some key words that come up often in John’s writing: Light, life, truth, believe, and most of all, love. But I’ve also noticed that several times John uses the word “reality.” There’s a tendency for our lives to be divided into compartments: The public compartment and the private compartment, the work compartment and the play compartment, the “faith” compartment and the “real world” compartment.

For John, there were no compartments. Everything in John’s life was rooted in his living relationship with Jesus Christ. His faith in Jesus Christ was his reality. Everything else was passing away like smoke in the wind. John said his purpose in writing this letter was so that we who believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we have – present tense – eternal life. Our faith is our reality.

Sometimes I face challenges in life that make it clear to me I’m not as strong as I had thought myself to be. This is for me a reality check. Being a Christ-follower doesn’t make me a stronger human being, but in reality makes me more dependent on the Christ-life inside me.

Jesus told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Wake-up call, reality check, whatever you want to call it, I am more aware than ever of how much I need Jesus to be my strength. May our faith be our reality.

Prayer:

Father, I love you and I love your son Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that by your grace and Jesus’ love and sacrifice I can live in reality and not illusion. I have few illusions about where my strength lies. I need you more than ever. Amen.

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