“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28
These are affectionate words—little children. I know we like to think we are all “grown up” but sometimes we need to be reminded that God sees us as His children—precious and loved by Him. However, our position as God’s children doesn’t give us permission to remain immature in the faith. In fact, just the opposite is true. We are often challenged to grow in grace and develop strong spiritual muscles so that we might live for Him.
This verse has three important words for us “little children” that can help us stay focused and be ready for our future in Him.
This word abide means to remain, to dwell somewhere; and here we are told to “abide in him”—our Saviour and Lord. I know as a parent I have often said through the years, “Stick close to dad.” There was a reason: I didn’t want my child to wander off, get lost in a crowd, become vulnerable to someone who might seek to carry them off, or get hurt.
The Lord Jesus wants us to stay close, too. The Lord taught His disciples: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
We need Him if we are going to live successfully as His child in this spiritually dangerous world.
What soul-comforting truth this is: “when he shall appear.” There is coming a day when Jesus will come again! That is His promise in John 14:2c-3: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
The Lord is coming again—Paul wrote to Titus and encouraged him that we can be on the “lookout” for the Lord in Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
As the songwriter said, “What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see…”
Whoa, what is this? It is simply that when the Lord comes, we want to be ready for Him. How would a child of God possibly be “ashamed before him at his coming?” A moment or two of personal reflection brings any number of sobering thoughts to mind. What sort of things would bring a sense of “oh no” at the trumpet instead of a sense of “yes!”
I am sure each believer can think of sin left unconfessed, hearts hardened to the Lord, an unforgiving attitude, duties unfulfilled, or love withheld…
How much better for you and me, God’s “little children” to remain close to the Lord, to abide in Him, that when He appears, we can be confident and expectant, rather than ashamed and filled with regret.