This is the message we have heard from him and we declare to you: God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. - 1 John 1:5
I sit down to write this “Jym Shorts” article on January 20th, Inauguration Day in the United States. Today, Joe Biden will be sworn in as our 46th President, causing much joy for millions of Americans, and much grief for millions more. Only time will tell if he lives up to his promises. To be perfectly frank, some of his promises I do not like, so I hope he will not live up to them. But that is generally true for most presidents.
Rather than dwell on this political reality taking place in this corner of the world, I want to dwell on another reality taking place across our universe. God is seated on his throne. When the prophet Isaiah was lifted into the throne room of God (depicted for us in Isaiah chapter six), he saw the Lord “sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.” This took place in the year that King Uzziah died. King Uzziah was a favorite of Isaiah the prophet. He was a good king, and the people of Judah had been safe and prosperous under his fifty-two-year reign. A new king was about to ascend the throne, which always made for political intrigue, much consternation, and occasionally — murder. In this time of great unrest and concern for the future, Isaiah sees God (as God revealed himself to a man), and what is God doing? He is sitting on a throne. There is no consternation for God, he is not perplexed and wringing his hands wondering about the future of Judah. All is well, and all is under control.
And so it is today my friends. Kings, queens, presidents, dictators, despots, potentates- they all come and go. One thing remains true, God rules supreme over his creation, and “the king’s heart is a stream of water in the hands of the LORD; he turns it wherever he wills” (Prov. 21:1).
For the month of January, I have decided to read the first letter of John every day, over and over again for 31 days. I do this occasionally, reading a short book of the Bible every day for a month in order to get a good grasp of it. It has been very encouraging to me. It reminds me that the apostle John, who had looked at Jesus, heard Jesus, and touched Jesus, now had a great desire to proclaim Jesus to those who would listen so that “you also may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” In these uncertain times, reading this letter repeatedly grounds me in the reality that God, who has always reigned and will forever reign over all things, is a God of light, not darkness. In him I see, and when I see him clearly, I see all things clearly. As C.S. Lewis so beautifully said: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
John tells us not only who God is, and who Jesus the Son is, but who we are. Those who love and obey Jesus are his children — those who do not, despite their pleadings to the contrary, are not. Concerning this, John is simple and straightforward. I am being reminded every day who this God is that I serve, and what it means to serve him as a faithful follower of his Son. I am pleased every day to read that my God is filled with light, life, and love. I am being warned every day to learn to spot false teachers who tell me that to love this world, and its leaders, is a good quality, and to avoid those who say they are with us when they walk away from us. I am being encouraged every day to rejoice in the love that God the Father has lavished upon his children, and to extend that love to others. I am being challenged to test the spirits, and to know that those who speak truth speak in accordance with the word of God. I am reminded clearly and plainly every single day this month: “He (or she) who has the Son has life; he (or she) who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” I am hearing each day this wonderful truth: “And we are in him who is true — even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
I need to hear and learn all these lessons. I need to know these truths, on Inauguration Day and every day after. I hope you will hear and learn these truths as well.
Grace and peace,