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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.


And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed at his appearing.
1 John 2:28

I exercise regularly at a local gym. Since I have been going there, I have observed something I call the "January syndrome." This phenomenon occurs annually.

Every year around January, a new group of people pour into our facility. They are filled with hope and enthusiasm at first. However, the reality of maintaining an exercise program soon sets in. Many of them are overwhelmed by the effort and commitment. They gradually come less often and finally, not at all.

On the other hand, some of these newbies refuse to give up. They continue exercising and are faithful to the disciplined lifestyle.

The challenges of exercise are similar to those we experience as believers. Godly living is hard work. It requires commitment. Sometimes it is painful.

Even with the help of the Holy Spirit, living for Christ everyday is an enormous challenge.

John, the beloved disciple, knew this to be true. Just like us, he battled a sin nature clamoring to embrace the world and indulge the flesh. He also experienced persecution and suffering for preaching the gospel. In spite of all that, he persevered.

Toward the end of his life, John wrote to the early church encouraging them to be steadfast in serving Christ.

He told them this: And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed at his appearing...(1 John 2:28).

John's words remind us life as we know it is temporary. The challenges we face will not last forever. What's more, our toughest challenges are great opportunities to demonstrate our love for Jesus.

If we are faithful in serving Him, we will be confident and free from shame when we see Him.

Father, help us focus on Jesus and eternity so we will persevere.


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