ODJ: face to face

February 12, 2015 

READ: 3 John 1:1-15 

I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to write it with pen and ink. For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face (vv.13-14).

Technology is helpful, but it can also hinder communication. As the apostle John told Gaius, it’s hard to fully convey all that is in our heart when we’re not with the other person (3 John 1:13-14). If John were writing his third epistle today, he might sign off: “I don’t want to call, text or tweet my thoughts. I hope to come over soon, and then we’ll talk face to face.”

John knew the power of face to face communication because he was a believer in Jesus. In his gospel he revealed that this is how God conveyed His love to us: “The Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14). God didn’t reveal His love in a blog post or social media update. He showed us His love by showing up in skin.

The power of touch can be intimidating. It often seems safer to retreat behind technological walls, commenting to those who aren’t with us rather than speaking with those who are. It’s easier not to make eye contact as we share our deepest feelings via characters on a screen.

Here’s the thing: we must open ourselves to the face of Jesus to fully experience His love. John says that soon Jesus will return, and “we will see him as he really is” (1 John 3:2). In that moment we’ll understand that we couldn’t possibly be more known or loved. Jesus already sees us as we really are, and He unconditionally accepts all who receive His unfathomable grace. This deeply personal love is best shared with others in person (3 John 1:13-14). If we want to reach others, we must be willing to do so face to face. —Mike Wittmer

365-day plan› Exodus 16:1-36

Read Revelation 1:9-20 to learn what happens when a person truly comes into contact with Jesus. 
How might you use and/or limit technology to deepen your friendships? Who do you need to sit down with to have a face to face conversation that will bring God glory? 
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