Nehemiah 7:66–8:18; 1 John 5:6–12; Psalm 110:1–7
I tend to complicate matters. Determined to understand the nuances of a problem, I spend more time constructing a solution than I need to. Often, delaying a simple solution is my way of avoiding action that requires me to be courageous, intentional, or perhaps admit I’m wrong.
John’s first letter addresses a complication of the gospel message. False teachers were causing division in the community by spreading incorrect doctrines about Christ’s humanity and divinity. Without understanding that Christ is both man and God, some people in the community were in danger of diminishing Christ’s saving work and confusing the gospel. John spends the greater portion of the letter guiding his readers through the murky doctrines the false teachers had introduced.
However, John’s climactic point at the close of his letter is far from complex. First John 5:11–12 contains a statement about belief that is both simple and decisive: “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son has the life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” As John leads the doubting recipients of his letter back to the truth, he shows them the simplicity of the solution: Through the Son, God has provided a way out of sin. This simple truth requires a simple response: belief in the Son.
Where in your life do you complicate an obedient response to God?
Rebecca Van Noord
 Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.