Accomplishment 3

John 16:33

Although perfectly capable of cooking, I prefer not to do it. There have been times when I know that we have planned a certain meal and I expect that I will be the one who has to make it.

What a pleasant surprise it is when my wife tells me that she has already taken care of the meal. I don’t have to worry about the work. She has done it all.

In the Gospel of John we have an account of Jesus with his disciples at the Last Supper. In this account Jesus offers some assurance about his return. Why has Jesus spoken to the disciples about all that he will do for them? What should the disciples expect? What good news does Jesus share?

Jesus was about to face the crucifixion. He was about to leave the disciples, this group of faithful followers that he has spent so much time with. Now they will be on their own, in a sense.

They were certainly upset about he prospects of being without their teacher. But Jesus explained that he would be present with them in spirit. They would never be alone.

It was time for their faith to reach a level of maturity. They would have to put all the lessons Jesus taught into practice. They would have to experience the accomplishment of their faith.

And Jesus gives them assurance. Like everyone, they would be facing difficulties and challenges in life. The world would not be an easy place for the. But Jesus has overcome the world. The authority and grace and love of Christ is more powerful than any problem we might face in life.

If we can live out our faith with the Holy Spirit as part of who we are, if we can commit ourselves to our faith with Jesus Christ at the center of who we are, then we too can face the challenges of the world with confidence. Jesus has overcome the world and the accomplishment of our own faith gives us the ability to rise above any temptation and any setback.

God is with us. We can succeed and be blessed.

DAILY CHALLENGE: What can help you remember that Jesus has overcome the world?

Accomplishment 2

Romans 8:31-32

I like playing games that involve tactics and strategy. One I really enjoy is the game of “Risk.” The game represents the world at war with players moving armies around the globe to defeat enemies.

As the game progresses there is a point at which one player’s forces will become so large that there is no way to stop them. World domination is inevitable and it is simply a matter of time before one winner emerges.

This is the kind of situation Paul is talking about when he speaks of the accomplishment of our faith in God. What does he say about God being “for us?” How do we know God will give us all that we need?

1 John 4:16 says, “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” If we are committed to our relationship with our heavenly Father then our faith connects us with the Almighty. We are “in” God and God is a part of us.

John also says in 1 John 5:5, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” When we have the faith that we are called to then the accomplishment of that faith is to have the firm confidence we need to confront every situation and every challenge in life. We will be able to live a life of complete faith, overcoming all temptations and failings. We can move on toward the perfection we are called to.

And as we have our faith come to maturity we need to have the confidence of the assurance of Jesus Christ. When we have faith in Christ then Jesus is living in us. And if God is in favor of us, on our side, serving as that strength we need, then what can possibly be an obstacle to us?

We know that God is with us because we are aware of the love He has already shown us. Paul points out that God did not even spare His own Son for our benefit. With that type of love already displayed we should know in our hearts that God will give us the ability to be strong in our faith.

DAILY CHALLENGES: How can you face life’s obstacles with mature faith?

Accomplishment 1

1 John 5:3-4

My parents used to spend many evenings together playing the game Yahtzee. It wasn’t until after my father passed away that I heard my mother say that my father loved the game and she always hated the game. But she said that she would do anything to play the game one more time with my father.

She may have hated the game but she was willing to play it because she loved my father. When we love the things we are expected to do are not a burden.

Following the fourth chapter which focused on love, John now reminds us of some of his previous statements. What does he say about love? What comment is made about the commands of God? What promise do we have? How do we achieve our victory?

In this final chapter of 1 John the author tells us of the accomplishment of our faith. To sum it all up briefly, the accomplishment of faith is a victory over the world. John is not talking about a conquest that makes us rulers over the land, but rather a victory in the sense that we are no longer controlled by the material.

If we can have the faith that John has spoken about throughout this book we will be living out the love of God. We will be in perfect communion with God and in that way we will be victorious over all the things in life that cause us fear and stress, and all those things that tempt us. When we have overcome these pitfalls and traps in life then we will certainly have peace in our hearts and in our lives.

It seems incorrect of John to claim God’s commands are not a burden. It can be very difficult to live like Jesus and obey the commands of God. But when our faith has reached that level of perfection that John calls for, when we know Jesus is real and we are invested in our faith, then obeying the commands are a natural part of who we are and we obey God in love. Then obeying God is not a burden.

DAILY CHALLENGE: What must you do to obey God’s commands?