Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous

To say Kelly Minter’s “What Love Is” Bible Study is speaking to me would be an understatement!  It is the study of 1, 2 and 3 John.

Today we settled in on these verses:

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.  And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”  I John 2:1-2

She points out that Jesus meets us, “not at our point of achievement–but at our point of failure!”  What a comforting thought.  Kelly Minter goes on to expound on this person who is our advocate:

 “Typically we need an advocate who holds a position we don’t, has power we don’t possess, is granted access to people we can’t get to, has influence we’re without.  This is why John’s reference to Jesus as the Righteous Advocate is so critical!  As sinners, laid bare before a holy God, we need Someone who has what we don’t—righteousness.”

I have no idea how many times Jesus has stood in the gap for me over my life.  Not only did He do this for me at salvation, but a million times more when I needed His protection, His guidance, when I needed course correction or a door thrown open that I had no ability or strength to even know was out there!

I am reminded of Romans 8:26-27 (which has come up three separate times this week):

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

….according to the will of God.  I am so thankful for the Spirit of God who prays for me in ways I cannot comprehend.  I pray I have a humble heart that trembles at His Word and recognizes that I need Jesus Christ as my Advocate and the Spirit of God interceding for me.  In these ways He is giving me life that is truly life when I would, unfortunately, settle for so much less.

L-I-V-I-N’

We have some funny friends.  Josh and one of these funny friends were exchanging texts a couple of years ago.  I can’t remember exactly how the term “L-I-V-I-N'” came to be, but it was related to the new-found ease we were experiencing with the ages of our kids. They had recently added a precious baby to their family, and we were entering the wonderful stage of parenthood when you no longer had to serve a monthly duty in nursery if you weren’t called to that area, where everyone could potty alone, shower alone, eat alone, walk alone–no strollers or carriers required, and everyone could buckle up in the car alone.  It’s a nirvana of sorts on this journey of parenting.

We were truly L-I-V-I-N’!

We laugh about that text exchange often.  LIVIN’ is what we all want, isn’t it? Not surviving, barely making it through each day.  We want LIFE!  Full, productive, passionate and purposeful LIFE!  Sometimes we mistakenly think this LIFE comes with ease in parenting or comforts in our day-to-day life,a healthy body, a paid off house, or vacations, a better job, a financial inheritance that enters our life at the perfect time, allowing us to retire early and travel the world.

Or it could be that we aren’t so grandiose about our ideal of what truly LIVIN’ looks like.  We just want a refrigerator that doesn’t leak and that gives out ice and water from the door like it is supposed to!  We think life would be better if that back passenger door on our car would open up from the inside on its own (I have no idea why that door won’t open from the inside…).  Or maybe we are just sure that life would be more satisfying if we lost 20 pounds.  A covered back deck would allow living through summer to be more enjoyable.

You catch my drift.  I’ve fallen into these ways of thinking many times.  God has used our personal journey to teach me in up-close and personal ways that life is not found in anything here on earth.  Josh has been known to say to me (after a pity-party or reading off a list of what I would like to change around here), “Life isn’t found in those things.”  We have given up our “dream home” before.  We have barely had two pennies to rub together.  We have also had an abundance of material possessions and the blessing of a great job that paid well.  Whether circumstances were difficult or circumstances were easy, life wasn’t lost or found in either.

Jesus makes this crystal clear when He is praying and says this in John 17:3,

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

There you have it.

 L-I-V-I-N’ = knowing God and Jesus Christ.

John 6:35- “Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’ ”

He is our constant source of stability in a world where life can change in a millisecond.  Let’s cling to LIFE.  Let’s cling to Jesus.

Then, we will be truly L-I-V-I-N’ !