I am very excited about the Series we began last Sunday called: A Roadmap for the Journey.
We will spend the next number of weeks in the book of 1 John because the little book of 1 John provides us with a reliable guide to navigate the rough terrain we’re likely to encounter in this spiritual journey we find ourselves in.
You see, the apostle John–who wrote the book of 1 John–was the only one of Jesus Christ’s original apostles to not be murdered by the Roman government. Not that they didn’t try! But John was a codgy old man who didn’t die easily. Eventually the Roman government banished John to an Island called Patmos. John was an eyewitness of Jesus Christ, one of the first of Jesus’ followers, and he wrote five books in our New Testament: The gospel according to John (the fourth book of the New Testament), three let-ters–1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and then finally the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. Before being banished to the Is-land of Patmos by the Roman Government, John served for many years as an overseer for all the churches in ancient Asia Minor.
John lived as a kind of spiritual mentor–the last living apostolic witness to Christ’s life and resurrection–so he kept himself busy helping the Christians in Asia Minor develop into fully devoted followers of Jesus. John most likely wrote his Gospel for use among these churches in Asia Minor, to give them an accurate account of the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. John wrote his first letter in order to encourage people in the Christian and to keep them from taking dangerous side trips in their spiritual journey. John is writing this letter as a roadmap to help the confused and troubled Christians in Asia Minor (the people he originally wrote the letter to) navigate these unexpected twists and turns in the Christian journey, to help them stay focused on the true Jesus and not be led astray down a different path. John wanted to re-ignite joy in this spiritual journey.
Each week we will be lifting up areas that will help us along the way in our spiritual life now matter what stage of the journey we find ourselves in. . .
The first Sunday we covered four points to the roadmap under the title of “Joy For the Journey.” Those points were as follows:
Building On the Right Foundation (1 John 1:1-2)
The Right Companions (1 John 1:3-4)
The Right Source (1 John 1:5)
The Right Goal (1 John 1:6-7)
People today are striving for joy in the journey, turning over every rock along the way to try to find the secret. Some pursue it in pleasure and success, still others in money and security. John would tell us that joy is to be found by having the right foundation, the right companions, the right source, and the right goal. If we build our spiritual journey on reality, share it with other Christians, based it on God’s revealed truth in the Bible, and allow it to transform our lives, our joy will be full, even as John’s was when he wrote this letter.
I hope you will plan to join us each Sunday as we discover the “Roadmap for the Journey.” Oh, yes and bring your friends and relatives. I promise it could change their lives.