Daily Devotion – May 10, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison
1 John 5:1-6
5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child.
5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
5:3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome,
5:4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.
5:5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
5:6 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.
What does it mean to conquer the world?
What do “conquerors of the world” look like? What do they have in common? Well, you’d think, anyway, that they would look pretty sure of themselves or pretty fearless. They would have just won some great battles, or made some crafty decisions, or gotten more people to fight on their side than the other guys did.
When do you feel as though you have conquered the world? I have a friend who, with her medical team and her beloved husband, has conquered cancer. She does say that she feels on top of the world, many days. She knows that world-conquering is not a once-and-for-all thing, but a daily set of habits. But she has moments now when she can close her eyes and be thankful that the greatest struggles do not lay ahead of her in her path but are behind her.
Conquering the world gets rid of fear and helps you be sure of things. So what does this letter of 1 John mean when it says “Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believe that Jesus is the Son of God?” It means that if we want to be able to be sure and to no longer fear the worst, we should believe in Jesus. Why? Because we don’t have to have all the answers or be perfect – because Jesus is perfect for us. Because we don’t have to fear the ultimate loss – death – because Jesus has defeated death for us, and death is just a tiny stream we have to step across to get to our eternal life.
We have this faith in Jesus because the Spirit has testified to it – has come, tapped us on the shoulder, and whispered the truth to us, while waking and sleeping. God is so gracious. God sends us Jesus to break death for us, and God sends us the Spirit to let us know the truth. Blessing upon blessing.
Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for the Holy Spirit’s power to tap us on the shoulder and testify to us that Jesus has conquered all for us, and that it’s all right to trust him. Thank you for blessing upon blessing. Amen.