Bible Reference: 1 John 5:18-21
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)
Bible Text: No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely, and the devil cannot get his hands on him. We know that we are children of God and that all the rest of the world around us is under Satan’s power and control.And we know that Christ, God’s Son, has come to help us understand and find the true God. And now we are in God because we are in Jesus Christ his Son, who is the only true God; and he is eternal Life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. Amen.
OBSERVATION: Safe in the arms of Jesus is where I want to be when this life is over, but I would dare say that my goal each day is to be secure in His arms – protected by Him, loved by Him, encouraged by Him and directed by Him. Child of God, I believe that our Scripture reaffirms that when we are securely His and when we surrender wholeheartedly to His will, He will fill us with so much of Himself that there will be little room for anything else. However, to get there we must surrender to His will and His Lordship. A place where all believer should strive to be – daily.
APPLICATION: I was drawn to the first part of this scripture that assures me that if I am truly a child of the King, I am held securely in His hand and under His protection from the Evil One. Then John clearly delineates who truly is controlled by Satan, and I pray that each one reading this devotional have made a firm commitment to graduate from that dark, sinful world, into the welcoming, loving, forgiving arms of our Lord and Savior. If you are still struggling with sin dear friend, then I would recommend that you go back to step one and check your son-ship with the Father. Was that an automatic thing you assumed because you were attending church every time the doors were opened? Was it something where you felt pressured into making a decision, or did you ever feel drawn by God’s Holy Spirit to surrender your old life of sin, and accept Him as Your personal Savior? May I encourage you to use the place, date or time of your adoption into the kingdom of Light, especially the next time that Satan tries to cause you doubt about whose you are? But friends, in spite of all the great insight already mentioned, the very last sentence is a powerful statement. When I think of what might take God’s place in our hearts, I tend to think of anything that might interrupt our personal time with the Lord. These are the times where you are spiritually refueled to go on stronger in the faith. And if anything steps into that space, or disrupts the time you had set aside to be with God, then I wonder if perhaps that’s what John was cautioning us about? For any relationship to flourish, I feel it is important for daily time together. When you are not meeting those committed times, then obviously something else is taking priority over your time alone with God. Perhaps another area might be church attendance. I know, just as staying in your garage overnight will not turn you into a car, so church attendance will not save you! However, I believe that a true child of God would want to be with God’s people at every opportunity. In fact, the Word infers this to be a characteristic of a believer. Furthermore, church attendance gives you the opportunity to praise and worship our Creator – the giver of all good things in this life; you also have the opportunity to be blessed by hearing how God has blessed others and answered their prayers; plus you have the opportunity to minister to others by sharing your God experiences with them. So if you’re not there, will someone go lacking that night, or that day? Will God be understanding of what took priority over Your time with Him? Is another ‘god’ slipping into the picture?
PRAYER: Lord I pray that You might use this devotional to awaken me to the desires of my heart and my relationship with you. May I be found faithful in all things oh God, and may You have prominence in all that I am. Touch the hearts of my readers dear Lord. May each of us be reminded of the priority You placed on making sure that our sins are forgiven, forever. With that same determination, commitment and priority may we be extra careful to not let anything interfere with the overwhelming and powerful role that You play in our lives. I believe that others will see and believe! Thank You gracious and loving God for loving us so much. AMEN!