THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – 1 John 3:9-10): 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
THOUGHTS: I remember at one point in my life I was at a gas station pumping gas, when suddenly someone called me by my dad’s name. My head quickly popped up to see who knew my family. Apparently there was enough facial resemblance, or actions, to remind the person of something he had seen in my dad! I find it exciting when I walk away from a sales clerk knowing that they must be a brother or sister, because their actions, their concern, their unselfish care for me as a customer, were all indicators that they must share the same faith that I do, and have the same Father that I have learned about over the years from His handbook, the Bible. Friends there are a few tests in these verses today that I would encourage you to use as a self-examination tool:
Do not make a practice of sinning – When we invite Jesus into our hearts and lives as our Savior and Lord, not only does He forgive us of our sin, but He shows us a new way to live – like Him. Through His example, we are guided and encouraged to live holy lives, even as He is holy. To depend on the power within (the Holy Spirit) to prevent us from performing the same sin that we may have committed without thought, prior to our conversion;
Do not keep on sinning – Very similar to the above, but the difference is that once we have been prompted by the Holy Spirit to stop doing something that He considers sin, we are to make every effort to not repeat that sin. We must not let it rule us. God’s Holy Spirit cannot reside where sin abides!
Live righteously – Live our lives ‘right with God’. We are shown throughout the Bible what God expects of us – what is right and what is wrong. With the awesome power of the Holy Spirit, we are to live our lives ‘right with God’!
Love other believers – We are to live life expressing our love and concern for each other, even if they don’t love us back, or show any appreciation for what we do for them. Sadly there is a saying that “Christians in particular, tend to shoot their wounded”. We are taught in this scripture that when the world sees us loving each other, they will know that we are different and controlled by a greater power. Selfishness and Satan-led malice, jealousy or envy will eat up our desire to love like Jesus did. The power of the Holy Spirit within us will help us to love even those who despitefully use us.
Friends, living like I described above will help us to internalize whether we truly did commit to accepting, loving, serving and practicing the love of God. It will also help confirm to the world that we are who we say we are. However, please remember that God knows our heart, so He knows whether we honestly dedicated our lives to Him. I believe He is ashamed when we act up, but our outward actions only influences the world, they’re not needed to prove anything to God.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help us to be a people who acts, responds and loves like the people we say we are. ‘Hypocritical’ is a word often used when we don’t. Furthermore, folk tend to mistrust us when they feel we are hypocritical, and this destroys our possibility to honestly witness to them. Please help us to live consistent, open lives that will represent You well. Beginning with me Lord, may Your children rededicate themselves to being transparent to those that we come into contact with. May they see Jesus in and through our words and actions so that they may be influenced to follow You, and so that Your kingdom might be glorified even now, here on this earth. Your love is amazing, and Your rich blessings are beyond compare, and more than anything that we can imagine. Please forgive us for the times we fail, and grant us strength and a quick rebound so that we might get back on track without causing damage to our witness of You. I need You every hour of every day, please continue to work on me oh Lord, so that I might be all that You need me to be for the ministry/witness You have in store for me. Bless my readers today with similar grace, so that You may be lifted up more than ever before, for I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!