Thoughts for the Day

Saturday, 7th January 2023: Faith and action

1 John 3 Faith God Jesus Action

Reading : Verses from 1 John, Chapter 3

Cross and Jesus

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before God whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Do you sometimes doubt the existence of God? Most of us do at some point in our lives. I find the continual secularism of our world difficult - it can be more undermining than outright condemnation of our faith. In the UK this shows in things like 'Santa' having taken over from the birth of Jesus on televisions and social media; or the way other news pushes out Christian news so that it feels we are even begrudged air time for the Christmas midnight service; and how the daily 'Thought for the day' on national radio was pushed onto another less accessible channel.

The doubts that can crowd our minds are addressed in Chapter 3 of the first letter of John. He comments that there is a simple test as to whether God exists and whether we are a Christian. For him "God is love", so if we feel love for others we can be sure that God is present. When we slip and sin, unlike the world, God judges us by our intentions and our feelings that may never have come to fruition. If there is one degree of love, present God will take that into account.

Ultimately, though this God of love will judge us also by our belief in the 'name of his Son Jesus Christ'. We saw recently that this means belief in the whole nature and character of a person - in the love and mercy and power of Jesus who loved us so much that he gave up his life for us. We are ultimately called to action, but also to belief. If we have some faith then we will do some action, as imperfect as this might be!


Lord Jesus Christ,
help me to believe in You,
and to understand that You are pure love.
Strengthen our faith so that this, our hope,
will transform itself into action;
and that we may take Your love
to those in need.
When we fail,
encourage us to try again.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to these Gospel songs (there are many - not just one!):

God is faithful

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