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Focused Faith

Daily Reading: 1 John 5

Scripture Focus: This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (1 John 5.4)

Devotional Thought: To this point in 1 John, the author has challenged us to love one another. Here in this final chapter, John reminds us that this victory of love will come about because of our faith.

We must have faith in people. If we are to ever love people, we must have faith that they are intrinsically loveable. Our “default position” toward the world isn’t trust – that would be naïve. But, it must be love. That will only happen when we truly understand that God loves them. Not for their greatness or even their kindness - God loves them because of the fact that they have been made by his own hands in his own image. That image was marred when sin entered the world in our first parents – Adam and Eve. But, God’s image remains in each us to some measure. Because of that, we are the objects of God’s love. And, because of that, we are never beyond hope. In spite of what others may say, people can change! Real change comes through the grace of God. If we don’t have faith in people, “The Faith” will never overcome the world.

We must have faith in God. Ultimately, our faith is not in people but in God who made people. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the Hebrew children who were thrown into the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar, did not put their faith in the good will of Nebuchadnezzar. Their faith was in God, in his unwavering love, even in the face of a cruel execution.

Do you have faith in people? In their created potential? Only if you do will you work for their salvation. Do you have faith in God? In his faithfulness when all else fails? Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

Prayer: Lord, help me to have faith - faith in the potential of people, and faith focused on you. Grant that I may then, through my faith, overcome the world. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalms 127:1-5)

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