Good advice is hard to come by. In fact, people pay high dollars to experts for their advice. There are financial experts, legal experts, medical experts, psychological experts and exercise specialists. However, often the common sense advice we need for daily living is even harder to find. One man named John wrote some letters in the New Testament that are filled with good common sense advice. He was one of Jesus’ disciples, and he was in his 90’s when he wrote these letters. Here are the basic guidelines for living:
Don’t Dabble in Sin: 1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.
Stay Close to Jesus: 1 John 2:1 …But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
You Have an Advocate: 1 John 2:1-2 ….But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Live Like a Child of God: 1 John 2:3-6 ….The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him…This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
Our Obedience Reveals Our Respect for God: 1 John 2:5 But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:
Let Jesus Be Your Hero: 1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
There you have it—six basic rules that will literally make a difference in our lives. When we really understand how dangerous sin is, we will stay away from it. That means we will remove ourselves from the temptation the way Joseph did when he ran from Potiphar’s wife. John advises us to take the scriptures literally.
When my grandson Donovan was two, he had to undergo some eye exams. It was bit of a scary process for him, so he clung to his mom. They needed to take one more x-ray from a particular angle, but he didn’t want any more of this. He had his arms and legs wrapped around his mother. My daughter said, “Donovan they just want to take a picture of you.” Then without relinquishing any of his grip on her, he looked at the doctor and nurse and said, “Cheese.” He was staying close to his mom.
There are times when we will all mess up—we will sin. John says, “Don’t forget you have an advocate who will go to the Father for you.” He has never lost a case, and the evidence he presents doesn’t depend on your goodness, but on Christ’s atoning death. John won’t let us off the hook in this letter. The man who says he loves his wife and family but is unfaithful—is a liar. The woman who is rude and unkind to her husband is a liar, John says. The man who says he loves God but doesn’t live like it is a liar and a hypocrite. Our actions validate or invalidate our words.
John loved Jesus so much that he was known as the Apostle who loved Jesus. The more we love Jesus the more he will mean to us. Solomon said it this way, Jesus is “altogether lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16).