When I was a kid, I loved it when a Muppet yelled, “Stop the presses!” The newsroom came to a screeching halt as it normally means something is up, but it was a joke. In first grade, I yelled it out. My teacher was not as enthusiastic about the joke. Next to her desk from then on stood mine. We do not like disruption, inconvenience, or anything else that messes with our busy lives. We place our church, family, and work in their “boxes.” When there is that brief moment of free time, we ought to open the enjoy life box. We do not like people messing with our “boxes.” Sometimes we need to stop and remind ourselves of something. John is being disruptive. If I may (I always wanted to do this): Stop the presses!
Seriously, stop. Stop worrying about work, kids, drama, finances for a moment. If 1 John 1:1-4 is already familiar to you, read it again in a different translation (The NET Bible):
“This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life— and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
John is screaming, stop the presses to people. He is telling us something incredible. Are you and I too busy to listen to what John is saying? We heard it preached, and we read about it yesterday. However, did it sink in? Reading these devotions can become routine. It does not have to be that way. People say, “Nice sermon,” but then ignore it the rest of the week. John’s news is not something that can be ignored.
Biblical meditation fills our mind with God’s Word. It chews on a passage over a period of time to move from knowledge to joy, and then to action. You probably can already explain this passage to someone. You may even have that joy of Jesus John writes about. Here is the stop the presses question: Is your joy complete? Are you satisfied with the number of people who know about Jesus? Are you satisfied with the number of your family, neighbors, and coworkers who know Jesus?
Hurry up, grab a pen and paper. Time is probably tight as you are reading this. Let us do three things before we resume our day:
- Write down two or three names of people you like who do not know Jesus.
- Write down how you would feel if they chose to follow Jesus.
- Pray that John’s desire for complete joy would be your desire as well.
For some of you, that prayer will be one of repentance; you honestly felt nothing after writing their names down. For others, it will be for boldness; you are scared of what would happen if you shared Jesus. I hope for all of us, it would be that John’s desire to share Jesus would be our desire as well. Do not be afraid to yell, “Stop the presses.” The news of Jesus is worth it!