Back to Jesus
5b By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:5b-6–ESV)
Now that he has added some points to Jesus as the answer he returns to it. Jesus lived as an example to all people and by walking as Jesus walked all can come to know we are saved, even those of little faith.
Get off the worry bus and trust1
Verna Hills wrote an American folk song that you likely have heard or maybe even sung to your children. It is entitled The Wheels on the Bus. Here are the lyrics of the first verse:
“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round all day long.”
According to Wikipedia2, this jingle was written no later than 1939. Worry over sins goes farther back, much farther back and that is what John is working to alleviate. There were no busses in John’s day, but if there were, he might have said something like this: The worry bus never gets to the depot. It goes round and round all through the town. To these John says get off that bus. He has given a whole set of approaches in these six verses. It is up to us to reach up and pull on the cord stretched down the side of the bus and get off.
Keep up the obedience and cast the worries away. Sure sin is an affront to God, but God took care of it with the blood of his son Jesus. That blood is entirely sufficient abundant enough to wash every sin of every person away. Accept that. Look again at the last part of verse 5 and then verse 6. We know that we are saved by walking as Jesus walked. Do it, get off the worry bus and know that God will teach us that we are in him.
Saturday routine and songs that won’t go away
On Saturday mornings I usually go to Dunkin Donuts or a local Dutch bakery and buy muffins, donuts, or sweet rolls for the family. I began that probably in the fall of the year 2000. Here nearly two decades later I am still at it. I used to take my kids along, and we’d eat there, but now two are away at college, and two are sleeping teenagers, so it ends up being me on a breakfast run.
The Saturday I wrote the “Get off the worry bus and trust” section my brain had awoken at 4 a.m. in high gear. By about 6:30 a.m. I had finished much of the lesson, and sleepiness was nibbling. Often when these nibbles come, I happily head to my recliner for what ends up being 15-minutes of sleep, but today I did not want to do that. I wanted to go to the Dutch bakery for the breakfast run, but they don’t open till 8. Needing to fill the time and stay awake I made an old standby in our house: coffee cake.
Being of the keep-it-clean variety after the coffee cake landed in the oven for its 25-minutes at 350º I enjoyed the batter and cinnamon crumbles that missed the pan. While standing over the sink with my hands in the warm, soapy, washing-up water guess what I heard? Sure there were the small splashes and thumps of the dishes, but there was something else going round and round in my head. Yep, that song. “The wheels on the bus go round and round, etc.”
Worry about salvation is not the only thing that runs circles around our brain. It may not even be a challenge you face. A good exercise for each of us is to ponder the difficulties that go round and round in our minds and determine how to apply God’s truth to them. John was gentle with the recipients of his letter, and God is too. I do not think he sits on his throne mad at us because we just don’t get it. He may admonish us, or like Jesus say, “Oh ye of little faith,” or “are you still so dull?” He does not hate or turn away from us though. We must deliberately get off the buses we ride on. Tell the bus driver to pull over! Then take the hand of God’s word and get off that bus. When you find yourself back on that bus, get off again. Then do it again and again. You will gain confidence, and eventually, you won’t get on it as often. Then you may find yourself on another bus. Different concern, same theme. Well, I bet you know you should do with that one, huh?