“And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not shrink from Him in shame at His coming.”
[1 John 2:28] has become somewhat of a “life verse” for me. I often repeat it to myself throughout the day for perseverance sake. With the help of the Spirit, it tends to humble, re-focus, and bring me back from my all-too-frequent wanderings.
I love this verse for what it is: Hope
*John says “So that when He appears…” No doubt about it. No hesitation. No uncertainty. Jesus is coming back. That’s awesome. All those who eagerly await his arrival will not be disappointed. How’s your anticipation?
I love this verse for what it says: There is a way to be confident when Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, returns.
*Your confidence before Christ is directly related to your state of abiding in Him. What does that mean? Well, it means that we need to be Gospel-saturated…lost in the wonder of redemption, amazed by such grace…baffled by our heavenly citizenship…taking thoughts captive…allowing hearts to beat faster…growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ…setting our minds on things above…eager to discover, to mature, and to change. Christ is our new life!
*It is here that our regular commitment to the spiritual disciplines – prayer, study, confession, worship, meditation and service – becomes important. Those who spend time with Jesus naturally (and indirectly) begin to reflect Jesus. They begin to see others like Him…love like Him…forgive like Him…view human history like Him…see sin like him, etc. (Spiritual Indirection)
I love this verse for what it is not: Self Assurance. A morality scale that says…do more!
*When I first started to reflect upon and pray this verse on a regular basis, I think I was subconsciously telling myself to…‘Do more, do more, and do more.’ But, I have learned that there is no morality scale here! A person’s good works apart from the cross, no matter how numerous, don’t breed this kind of confidence. John is not campaigning for self-assurance. In fact, the verse is saying the direct opposite. If you want this kind of guarantee, then you need to take yourself out of the equation and simply abide in Him. This is divine-assurance. Christ is the author and source of this confidence. He freely gives it. We have nothing of our own to boast or to trust. Our assurance is completely wrapped up in Christ’s justification and the Spirit’s sanctification (thank God!).
* “Jesus wants to express his fullness through you. Always begin your thinking and your planning and your deciding from the standpoint of Jesus’ fullness in your life. Always begin with the plenty of God. Face life with all you have in Christ. Never face life from the standpoint of all the problems and all the needs and all the difficulties. Always begin with your standing in Christ. You have rivers of living water, Christ in you, fullness of grace and truth. That’s what Jesus gives us!” (Ortlund)
Continue to endure in His faithfulness. Remain in His love. Stick-it-out. Lean on Him. Trust Him. Rely on Him. If we are careful to abide in Him, then one day, when He returns, you and I will be able to look with confidence into the eyes that are like blazing fire.