May 24

Today's Bible Readings:
     Numbers 33
     Psalms 78:1-37
     Isaiah 25
     I John 3
''Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."  (I John 3:1)
        A once popular song states, ''Two different worlds, we live in two different worlds." There is no unique insight peculiar to our generation. That is precisely what the Apostle John said 2,000 years ago in this letter. The great, overarching truth of Chapter 3 of I John is that God's children live in one world with special characteristics while the devil's people live in another with their peculiar traits.
        The first two chapters of John's epistle have the subject of fellowship as the main theme. The fellowship with God is on the basis of our walking in the light as He is light. The next three chapters have as their theme the matter of Sonship. The key verse is I John 4:8 - ''God is love.'' We are in the Family of God because of the wonderful, unbelievable, amazing love of God.  This amazing love of God is indeed out of this world. In the first three verses of our chapter we observe three lessons about those who are the Children of God.
Our Position - His Work in Us
        Who are we? These verses say very clearly that we are the Children of God right now. What an incredible thought. According to I John 3:2, we can know that we are now the sons of God.  If we know Jesus as Savior, we are right now Children of God. What an incredible love, that instantly transforms a child of the devil into a Child of God.

Our Potential - The Wonderful World Ahead
       Consider not only who we are now, but consider our potential -what we shall be. There is a wonderful potential out ahead for all of God's children. When I read verse 2, I can almost feel the anticipation and excitement within John. A wonderful destiny awaits the child of God. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus; It will be worth it all when we see Him. One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase. It will be worth it all when we see Him.

Our Practice - Our Walk With Him
       Verse 3 gives us the lesson for living. The man who has this hope purifies himself just as Jesus is pure. Praise God for the hope He has placed within us. This world puts its hope in its banks, its money, its military power, its institutions, and its leaders. Our hope is in Jesus. This hope leads to holiness in the life of the believer. The young soldier, who had lived a life of purity, even though far away from his home and family, was asked how he could do it. His friends said, “Why did you stay so clean and resist the temptation.” He answered, “Back home, over the sea, there is a girl that I love with all my heart. When this war is over, and I get back home, I'm going to be married to that girl, and I'm keeping myself clean just for her.”  We must keep ourselves clean for Jesus.

         Pray for the Islamic Republic of Iran. This country has approximately 76 million people residing in an area of one million, 700 sq. km. Most people know that the economy of Iran is based oil provision. Oil provided 80% of export earnings in 2010 and that provision continues to grow. Copper provides most of the rest of the economy. The Islamic Revolution has lost its glitter. A legacy of bloodshed, cruelty, injustice, extremism, and economic deprivation has discredited the conservative religious leaders and the Islam they promote. Now Iran is the center of the world's attention because of the movement toward nuclear power. The Islamic conflicts there have been devastation to the Christian church.
         Pray for the majority of the wider Christian community which is from the traditionally Christian Armenian and Assyrian communities which are isolated in their culture and language. Pray for work of the Holy Spirit in their churches, that the lives of Christians might radiate the glory of Jesus. If you have time to focus on only one thing today, focus on the unreached people groups in Iran. Iran contains some of the largest totally unreached peoples in the world. Only in 8 of the 70 ethnic groups are there known groups of believers. What a privilege to go before the throne of God today on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

''Don't ask for what you'll wish you hadn't got."