I’m starting the book of 1 John, and I have to confess that the apostle John is my favorite of the disciples. I am looking forward to meeting him in heaven. 🙂 The Gospel of John is also my favorite of the four Gospels, and I really appreciate how much he loves his fellow Christians and expresses it in the books of 1-3 John. His life was quite interesting, and I’ll probably share more about him when I hit Revelation, since he is also the author of that book. I will say that the book of 1 John was written in his old age, from Ephesus, probably around 90 A.D.
“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” ~1 John 1:1-4
In the Gospel of John, Jesus is called the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” ~John 1:1-5
John is reminding us, just as Peter did, that he saw, heard, experienced, and touched Jesus, and he, too, is an eyewitness willing to die for the Truth that Jesus brought, light into a dark world. He encourages us and shares what he personally has experienced so that we may have eternal life, and experience joy.
Joy~ what a wonderful gift! Not just happiness, which comes and goes, but true joy that only God can give. It is one of the fruit of the Spirit- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” ~Galations 5:22-23. These fruit are the result of the Holy Spirit of God working in our lives and helping us, because we cannot produce them by ourselves! Patience? Self-control? Love our enemies? I think we all can admit that we struggle and need God’s help!
And don’t ever forget- “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” ~Nehemiah 8:10b
♪ ♫ I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart! I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart to stay! ♫ ♪ 🙂