Summary: God desires for us to become all the can. John gives us 5 needs, thoughts, or issues to "deal with" IF we are to Be all we can be.
* In 1981, the US Army unveiled one of the most popular jingles they ever used. What was the jingle? Most of us remember it; “be all that you can be in the Army.” The target was young men and the “pride factor” which they possess.
* It does not stretch the imagination at all to realize that God wants every one of us to “be all we can be.” We are His “crown creation” and His desire for us is more than we can ever want for ourselves.
* However, in this fallen world, reaching our potential is not easy. In fact, without proper instruction and help, it is impossible.
* We have been working our way through the epistle of 1 John. As we end Chapter 3 and begin Chapter 4, the apostle offers us some help in this journey. Text Call. Before we read our text this morning, consider something with me; consider the number of times the Bible tells us to “examine ourselves.” The Old Testament along with the New Testament joins together teaching us to “examine.” READ
* So how exactly does this text teach us to be all you can be? John is so focused on helping and teaching those who have trusted Christ that He gives us 5 truths for us to consider.
* These will be put in first person because it begins with ME.
1. The Confirmation I Desire. What is the confirmation which “I” desire? For me, I want to know that when this life is over, I’m taken care of. Please be reminded that the word “know” appears over 30 times in 1 John. He WANTED us to know. So how can I know? This is answered in verse 24.
> The way we KNOW is from the Spirit He has given us. Did you understand that? We “KNOW” by being filled with His Spirit.
> As a boy, I used to play football in an open field close to our house. Occasionally, when we arrived at the field there would be hundred of birds on the ground feeding. We enjoyed taking a stone and throwing among the birds and enjoyed hearing and seeing them fly away.
> Mentioning being filled with the spirit to a group of Baptist resembles throwing a rock into a bunch of Baptists, they scatter like the birds. Yet, being filled with the spirit is not optional, mystical, or weird, it is a natural way of life for the believer.
> Being filled with the spirit is not about any of these. Most people are confused about what this means, so let me give you some simple thoughts about what it means to be “filled with the Spirit.”
> Being filled with the Spirit involves being conscious, sensitive, & aware that the Holy Spirit is with you every-where you go. Being aware of this affects all of life; you decisions, your words, your responses, and all the rest.
> Before I can be filled with the spirit, enjoy the confirmation which I desire, and become all I can be, I must respond to the Call of Christ.
> Possessing the Holy Spirit will give me a perspective or a basis to spiritually discern. (Illus: Peter)
2. The Caution I Take. Being all I can be is about making good decisions, listening to good advice, and staying away from the wrong people. John is telling us just like my dad used to tell me, “Watch who you listen to and hang with.” Since we have the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to discern the true and the false. He says in verse 1, “Don’t believe every one who ‘claims’ to be of God, but test them.”
> There is an old saying which says, “It’s hard to soar like eagles when you run with turkeys.” Please listen, whomever we allow in our life will influence us and to some degree control who we become. Be Cautious.
> I offer you a personal caution today. In this age of communication, please be extremely careful. Every cable and satellite system contains at least 2 religious channels. It is sad but true that many of these teach “another gospel.” About 70%-80% might be Biblical, but the rest is perversion. Weigh every sermon, Sunday School lesson, devotion, and the rest by God’s word.
> To be all you can be is to live by His Word and His Spirit.
3. The Confession I Declare. Our confession is a very important part of our life. Verse 2 highlights a first century problem. There was considerable debate in that day about Jesus. Was He, in fact, God’s son in the flesh? Did He bodily rise from the dead? For those, this was major.
> Today this issue is more subtle. Jude tells us that in the last days, men will come in “under the radar.” Wolves as sheep, lost men parading as saved men.