The First 15

Friday June 5, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

Life Goes On


1 John 5:13-21

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.


“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (verse 13). Remember the inheritance that is yours! Eternal life. Eternal life is not only a quantity of life. It’s a quality of life. Abundant life in the Spirit here and now. We don’t have to wait for eternal life. It’s already begun. We don’t have to wait for it. Seizing the day and following where the Holy Spirit leads us is so important. We’re moving forward looking out for quicksand and traps along the way that threaten to hold us back from the fullness of life God has called us to live. Words, events, or people can hold us back from fulfilling God’s purpose and embracing the gift of eternal life if we let them. We’re also good at self-sabotage. Many of us are our own worst enemy. We struggle to get out of our own way to step forward into God’s promised future.

Andrew Peterson is a songwriter and author and he wrote a book recently about the creative process called Adorning the Dark. I highly recommend it. In the book Andrew talks about the mountain that is writing a book. It’s daunting. So many pages. The mind wanders. Hard to stay focused. When I think about writing a book, it seems impossible. So much work. Andrew said what helped him was sentences. Books are made up of sentences. Sentences turn into paragraphs and paragraphs into chapters, etc. Some days when he’s not feeling particularly motivated or inspired, he reminds himself to write sentences. Keep going. Keep moving. Keep working. Don’t give up.

There are sentences that stop us in our tracks. This pandemic season is full of them. So many of our brothers and sisters are bogged down in fear. There are sentences we sometimes allow to stall our story. We haven’t experienced God’s love lately because of the power we’ve given the last sentence. That sentence might be: I am guilty of betraying a friend. I am guilty of being a lustful person. I am a prisoner to what I want. I am never satisfied. I am ashamed of what I’ve done. I am depressed. I’m afraid all the time. I’m trapped in uncertainty. I don’t know what to do. What sentence are you living under? Ask God for forgiveness. Speak to him and he will hear you. Let His words be the banner over your life. Paul says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Remember, your inheritance is eternal life! Submission to Christ is freedom. You are worthy of the gift because God said so. He has redeemed you. Keep on living. Write another sentence. Life is good and life goes on.

Prayer for Today

“Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.”

—Martin Luther King Jr.

The First 15

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