1 John- Love Conquers Sin
As we continue through 1 John 3, there are three big "sticking" points that we need to really sit with today. First, we encounter one of my most treasured verses....How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called His children! You could spend a week sitting with this verse, and how it impacts your life when you fully receive it. His love is GREAT! It is LAVISH! It makes us HEIRS! I heard a sermon a few weeks ago where a preacher asked how many women in the audience would be willing to fully submit to to their husbands, if they knew that their husbands loved them like Christ loved the church -wholly, holy and sacrificially, if their husbands only did what was in their best interest, if their husbands honored and respected and cared for their every need? How many of you would be willing to submit? Of course, every woman was in agreement, "Bring me that man, and honey, I am submissive!" Amen?
If we take this same picture, and we look at God who has already demonstrated this sacrificial love and promises to meet our every need, to bring beauty from our ashes, to give us a full life and a free life, that all things will work for His good, and on and on, why do we struggle with being submissive? This is certainly something we should contemplate....we say with confidence bring the man on, and I will be submissive, and yet here He is, and so many of us are running from His perfect plan for our lives? What keeps us from being submissive to the one who loves us perfectly and wants only the best for His children?
As you ponder that thought the second point comes from verse 3,
Everyone who hopes in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
The struggle for purity that we all seek comes not from perfection, but from putting our hope in HIM. It is hope that purifies us! Our hope in His power, in His ability to change us, in His plans, In His purpose, in His Kingdom purifies us! So where is our hope?
Finally, we hit the tough love part, but so very needed. Verse 9, No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he can not go on sinning, because he is born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
As easy and as tempting as it may be to anchor in on the "good stuff" and quickly run through the tough love, in effort to move closer, we must stop here. I recommend you read 1 John 3:1-10, and allow His word to unveil you to this truth....Your DNA says you are royalty....the child of God, and when you get this, truly get this, your life will change. His Grace removes the desire for sin, but know that the enemy will tempt you in every way to prevent your freedom.
The other day my boys were running on the asphalt on our street, and I noticed that one was running too fast and looked unstable, so I called, "Houston, slow down!" I said it three of four times, and he kept running until he collided with the pavement and was bleeding from wrist to elbow and knee to ankle. He was crying profusely and I said to him, "Baby, when I was telling you to stop running, I was not trying to be mean, but simply trying to prevent you from this very thing. The next time I tell you to stop, will you remember this....Sometimes mommies see things that little boys don't see, and I am always always trying to protect you, because I love you." As we were walking home, I thought this must be exactly how God feels when His children are walking in sin. Sin always results in brokenness and heartache and wounds and sometimes destruction. And at some point, if we are so lucky, we turn from it and cry out and he says, "I was saying "No" simply because I could see what you couldn't see, and I was trying to prevent you from these wounds. Next time, will you remember when I say "No" it is because I can see what you can't see, and I always always seek to protect you, because I love you?"
When you see God as the Father and we as his children, it changes everything! How lavish is His love that He says, you can call me Papa:)
Today, I challenge you to seek His Grace to be changed. We all have people on our list that we are praying for to be changed, but today can the change be in me and you. Can we adjust our lives so that His crown is displayed on our heads for all to see.....we are HIS?
Seek. Love. Follow.
In His Wings, Ro