There are many things that people pursue and even give their life for to enjoy life. They buy bigger houses, faster cars, or larger boats. They divorce their spouse and get rid of the kids. They leave jobs in pursuit of something new and exciting. They don’t understand that all these things provide fleeting enjoyment; it does not last. Then they move on to something that in itself is temporary. They are in a cycle of pursuing enjoyment and are not finding it. This type of lifestyle is hazardous. It can destroy families, finances, careers, and, most importantly, your faith.
John, the Apostle, tells us in I John 2:24-25 that we can enjoy life. This is how the New Living Translation puts it, “So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship, we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.” John gives us a sequence to enjoying the life that God has given us. It starts with something that many believers do not like to hear, but it is still the truth. Being faithful to the things that they have been taught. This is the first step that John gives us to enjoy life. We have to identify what we are to be faithful to. John says, “to what you have been taught.” John is pointing believers to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles. John is writing to both Jews and Gentiles in the church. So, he is not pointing to the teaching of the old covenant.
The word faithful is the key to beginning to live the life God has for you. This is the same Greek word that John used in writing his Gospel. John 15 uses it 11 times in 16 verses. Do you think that maybe John has gotten the message that Jesus taught? The Greek word is menō, meaning to abide, remain, or stay put. To live the life that God has for us, we must remain in the teachings of Jesus. To stay in those teachings, we must know what was taught. Jesus taught all sorts of subjects. The question of what Jesus taught should be something we ask in every situation we face.
Abiding in Jesus’ teaching will cause us to abide in Him and the Father. We cannot separate Jesus from His word. When we abide in His words, we become yoked together with Him and the Father. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” The yoke that Jesus talked about was what tied two oxen together. The purpose of securing them together was not just to add strength. It was to teach the younger oxen how to pull. The yoke represents Jesus’ teaching. When we walk through life, allowing the teachings of Jesus to guide us, we walk in step with Him. He carries the load, and we learn from Him how to live the life He intended.
Verse 25 of I John 2 tells us that the promise we have as we abide in Him and His word is eternal life. Some would say that means heaven. But that isn’t true. Our eternal life started the day we accepted God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus. The life that John is talking about is not merely existing but is a life that is full and meaningful. Jesus said that He came to give us abundant life. It does not mean a life without struggle. We sometimes forget that Jesus struggled. It does mean a life with meaning and purpose. Your struggles will take on a new perspective when you listen to what John has taught us. You will live a life of meaning and purpose by being faithful to Jesus’ teaching.