Don’t panic, the books are brief.
Today we are reading the epistles written by John, as well as the little book written by Jude. These books are very practical and easy to apply. No need for lots of interpretation.
The book of I John deals over and over with the idea of our life as it relates to sin. He says that if we love God, we will not sin. Now that is a mouthful! The core of this message is that, if we do sin, we have an Advocate, Jesus Christ who speaks to the Father on our behalf (2:1). One of the more challenging verses on this topic is: 1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. We are also told in this book that God is love and it is impossible to grasp love without connecting to God. One of the greatest examples is given in 1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! On a very relevant topic, John tells us in chapter three that our love for God will cause us to help people who are in need. In other words, the expression of love for God is loving people. Love God, love others.
II John is a very brief book. He is telling us that it is possible to lose what we have been given, that we need to contend for our faith. He launches into the idea that people will come along to try to tell you that Jesus is not the Son of God. Don’t be fooled! We are not even supposed to hang out with these people, they are destructive and deceptive.
III John is also short. The purpose of this book is to be sure that we are walking in the truth. He discusses two guys, Diotrephes and Demetrius. The first guy was a hypocrite and was concerned only with his own selfish ambition. Demetrius was a good man and served as an example for others to follow.
Jude is a little more complicated book. It s basically a call to build up our faith so that we will not be destroyed by those who attempt to divide us. The key verses are: Jude 20-21 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. The book ends with a beautiful doxology in verses 24 and 25.
Tomorrow, Monday, we will read Revelation 1-11.