Daily Devotion – May 6, 2021 – Pastor Erick Thompson
1 John 5:1-6
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ[a] 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?
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.
I have lost many games of “Exploding Kittens,” and yet, I have won them all. While my daughters are convinced that I am just really, really bad at the game, what they don’t understand is that by simply playing the game with them I have already won. Victory in the game is meaningless; what matters is having fun with my girls.
I would guess that in some areas of our lives, we don’t feel like we can ever win, like we could ever conquer anything. In our selection from 1 John, the author is not actually promising that we’ll literally conquer anything. But, God’s amazing gift of faith can so change the rules of the game so that we feel that we’ve won, even if the world says we haven’t. Notice, the promise isn’t that our lives will be perfect, it’s that we will conquer the world. The victory that we will win is with ourselves, and how we engage the world. No longer will we play by the rules that the world and others set for us. Money, titles, cars, cabins, etc. are not really the prize. Instead, we will come to understand that there is a bigger prize: faith. The gift of faith from a God who claims us in the waters of baptism, faith that the Holy Spirit is poured out on us every day, faith in our loving God. This faith is made possible because of God’s faith in us. And, it is this faith that conquers the world.
So, how will we reframe parts of our lives so that it’s not about winning or losing according to the world’s rules? How will we learn that the gift of life and the gift of faith in God are their own victory? While most of our lives we have been taught to play by the world’s rules and always to try to be a winner, with faith we can conquer the world and leave behind these meaningless “victories”. Faith gives us the freedom to focus on the things that really matter, knowing that God is always on our side.
Prayer: Loving God, open our minds to see your gifts of grace and faith so that we can enjoy life and all of your amazing creation. Amen.