Little children

“I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”

Before the throne of God we are all little children. If we are in the family of God, He is our Heavenly Father and we are His dearest of children. He will never leave us or neglect us or cause us a moment more of suffering than we are able to bear. There are times when the waters run deep over our souls, but His guiding hand and upholding love is always there. It is painful, but the Father of all mercies is at our side. He does not treat us as we deserve, but as a loving Father who helps us to bear our burdens and the burdens for others too. When the weight of trouble is too much, He will release us and provide a way of escape, that we will not be destroyed.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

John is writing to us as these little children of the Father, full of meekness and kindness towards us in our weaknesses and failings. He is a loving Heavenly Father and never fails, so we can trust in Him at all times. He has done everything possible to meet our needs and has given His only dearly beloved and begotten Son as a sacrifice to pay for all our rottenness, that He might have a redeemed retinue of people for His mighty names sake.

For that names sake we are completely forgiven from all our sins and made worthy to be in the royal family of heaven. We are sisters and brothers to Christ, the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. We inherit His kingdom with Him forever and will forever reign in the city of Zion. We will judge with Him and share in the eternal glory. This is the magnitude of the inheritance of the saints of God – the little children of the Father.

Little children

Little children

“I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”

1 John 2:12

The way John writes is very heartfelt. He is such a loving disciple of the Lord Jesus and the record we have of him shows a very loving and soft-hearted person. It is easy to become hardened by the deceitfulness of life and to become cynical about people. Everyone needs people around them and a supportive family. If these things are not in our lives, then the Lord will take us up.

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”

Psalm 27:10

Despite the hardships of life and the disappointments he faced, John remained faithful to the Lord, and served Him to the very end. The end of John’s life was remote and alone, banished to the Isle of Patmos, where he lived out his days with astounding visions of the Lord Jesus, which we have recorded for us in the book of Revelation. This book of 1 John is full of love and teaches us about what true love is. 

In this verse, John focuses on the Christians new in the faith, and unsure about their faith and position in the family of Christ. He calls them affectionately, “little children.” Perhaps some would say this is patronising and belittling, but it is full of feeling for those who might be struggling in their young Christian lives. 

What would be the one thing a Christian would be concerned about in their lives? Surely it is the issue of the forgiveness of sins. If we love the Lord, we will be concerned about being sure we are forgiven. This is the mindset of a true Christian. There is no salvation without the Lord and His forgiveness for our moral disease that we so carelessly live for. In our unconcerned state, we live as we please, but when God is speaking into our lives, we become concerned about our sin and begin to realise our state before God. To be forgiven becomes our chief concern and we start to seek God and how we can find this forgiveness.

The message of the death and resurrection of Jesus comes to us. Someone tells us, or we read it and we realise this is the answer to the problem of our sin. We realise or need to confess our sin to Him and trust in what He has done for us. God is working in our hearts and softening our hearts to come to Him. 

Becoming sick of sin is very important. Turning away for it and confessing it to the Lord, is the only way to forgiveness. Nothing we can do can pay for it, and we come to God in repentance to receive a change of heart and mind and this new life called eternal life. It is a simple and child-like thing to do. It is simply putting out hope and faith in Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. It is a personal encounter with the Lord and it changes us forever. Some call it conversion, or being saved for sin. 

We cannot be saved any other way.

“Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.”

Acts 2:38-39

To be concerned about your sin, is a spiritually healthy place to be. We will not seek the Lord without it. It is the way to life and peace and the way to the heavenly home that is prepared for all those who have walked this road. 

If you are young in faith, you may have concerns about your assurance of faith and salvation. John is writing here, to assure those young in the faith, that they are safe and saved, because their sins are forgiven, for His names sake. The bedrock of our faith is Jesus Himself and the only and that can save.

“There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!”

Acts 4:12

This is a narrow road to walk, but it is safe and sound because of the company. We rest our faith in our precious Lord Jesus and no one else, certainly not ourselves. Jesus will never let us down or let us float away off course and be lost, He will always bring us back to Himself, if we should wander away. He will always bring us assurance and strengthen our faith by His mighty power. He will order the circumstances of our lives to make us strong Christians and full of faith, love and hope.

Courage comes when we believe the Word and rest upon it. 

“Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust, and will not be afraid; for God, the LORD, is my strength and song; and he has become my salvation.” Therefore, with joy you will draw water out of the wells of salvation. In that day you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD! Call on his name. Declare his doings among the peoples. Proclaim that his name is exalted!”

Isaiah 12:2-4

As we rest in the Lord and His promises, we find peace of mind and heart, and our assurance grows as our faith grows. Our sins are forgiven because we trust in him. This pleases the Lord….