December 30 — Keep Your Guard Up (1 John 5:21)
1 John 5:21: “Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”
Verse 21: “Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”
This is John’s final warning:
- In chapter 2:15: “Stop loving the world, neither the things which are in the world…”
- In chapter 4:1: “Beloved, stop believing every spirit…”
- In this verse: “Guard yourselves from idols.”
An “idol” is anything which takes the devotion which belongs to God for itself. It can be (1) a home, (2) school, (3) parents, (4) television, (5) athletic events or (6) anything else that comes before God.
There are so many distractions – computer devices, electronic games, social media, television shows, phones, etc. – that can take away our focus and devotion to our blessed Lord and fellowship with Him.
Dr. Mitchell asks: Is there anything or anybody that takes the place of Christ in your heart? In your devotion? Do you have any ambitions which displace Him in your heart?
With the hymnwriter, we can sing “Whiter Than Snow”: “Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole; I want Thee forever to live in my soul. Break down ev’ry idol, cast out ev’ry foe. Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”
Isaiah 61:10: “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
2 Timothy 1:12: “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”
As we finish studying this passage, let’s ask ourselves the questions that matter:
- Do I know Jesus Christ personally?
- Does He live in my life? As a result of that relationship, have I experienced the joy of fellowship with Him?
- Are there any idols keeping me from this fellowship?
- Is there misplaced love and communion?
- Is there faulty love and belief?
Hosea 10:12: “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.”
How appropriate that we would sing this hymn this morning as we complete our study of 1 John. Join me in singing verses 1-4 of “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing”: “‘There shall be showers of blessing:’ This is the promise of love; There shall be seasons refreshing, Sent from the Saviour above. ‘There shall be showers of blessing:’ Send them upon us, O Lord; Grant to us now a refreshing, Come, and now honor Thy Word. ‘There shall be showers of blessing:’ Oh, that today they might fall, Now as to God we’re confessing, Now as on Jesus we call! Showers of blessing, Showers of blessing we need Mercy drops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead.”