My past thoughts about love and trust in a simple definition no longer matter, what does matter is how I feel after devoting my life entirely to God and his manner of being. Personally, I think that love is more than just an emotion of affection, it's an action that is performed, as well as a decision which must be consciously made to have. I also feel that love is something which has been long overlooked by many Christians in today's world and deserves some serious inspection.
Oh but we won't be stopping with what I think and what I have to say about love, oh no, we'll be diving into the depths of the scripture to find out exactly what God himself has to say about love. So everybody grab your sippy cups and strap in, it's gonna be a bumpy ride as we travel through 1 John 3; because I can personally guarantee that you're going to come to a realization about yourself today, and it may scare you, so be prepared.
Living as Children of God
What does John open up the very beginning of the chapter saying? We are all the children of God, even those who do not believe and understand this. What do you think a non-believers argument would be here, something kind of like this, "HA! You're wrong there cupcake, I'm the child of John-Doe and Mary-Jane, I didn't come from God." Really now, so umm, if you trace your genealogy all the way back to the beginning of time, who were your ancestors? A monkey and a fish? Are you really cool with thinking that you came from a dumb, lifeless, single-celled organism? Lol, some people!
No! You want to know where you really came from? Try flipping over to Genesis 2:7, and the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person. So try telling me again where you came from, looks to me like a pile of dirt and some God breath, mmm! Therefore, God made you, you think your mother's body could produce you without the breath of God? No! I honestly believe that God takes pleasure and satisfaction in being there for every conception, of every living thing, and breathes life into it himself each and every time. Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor, he could have created us from something else, like water for instance. Neh, I think I'll just take some of this dirt over here and throw together a mud man, amazing.
John goes on to tell us that since we are believers, we should keep ourselves pure, just as Jesus is pure. When you think of being pure or purity, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I can't speak for you, but in my case it's sexual immorality: abstaining from sex until marriage, lusting, faithfulness, pornography; in my opinion these are the hardest things to overcome because they are a huge part of who we are, they seek to fill our fleshly desires. There are others which can be equally as hard, such as substance abuse, gambling, greed, and gluttony. Ever heard of the seven deadly sins, do you think they could be called deadly for a specific reason? Oh I don't know, maybe because sin is death and you can't escape sin without Jesus Christ; but that's just my opinion, don't take my word for it, it's not like it's written in the Bible or anything.
Moving on, you already know that sin opposes the law of God, right? Pretty basic stuff, but have you ever looked at it this way? Those who sin, oppose the law of God; you like that reverse psychology don't you, I can't take credit for that though, that's all John. Really now, we all know that Jesus came to earth to take our sins away and that he was without sin; so if we commit our lives to living in him, then we will also be without sin. In this sense, those who continue to sin knowingly and willingly, have never known him or understood who the Son is.
Riddle me this peeps, if by some manner you found out that Jesus would return at the end of this week, would you present him with the "Christian life" that many of you are living right now; or would you go through some drastic life altering changes over the next few days to make yourselves appear more holy? In all seriousness, if Christ appeared before you right this moment, could you stand to look him in the eyes, proud of how you've lived up to this point, or would you avert your gaze out of shame and embarrassment? I'm almost willing to bet the small amount of money I have to my name that many of you would fall into the second category of each question; living however you see fit while away from the body of God, and throwing on fake characteristics around other believers. Have you ever heard the saying that who you are when no one is around defines who you truly are? Instead of living like you can change at the last possible minute, you should seek to live every minute like it's the last. Meaning that instead of thinking there is time to live how you want now and you can live the holy life later, you should realize that Christ can come back at any moment and that "later" is now.
Look at what John has to say, "When people do what is right, they are righteous, as Christ is righteous. But when people continue to sin, it shows they belong to the Devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came to destroy the works of the Devil. Those who have been born into God's family, meaning they have been reborn by salvation, do not sin because God lives in them. So now we can tell who are children of God and children of the Devil. Anyone who does not obey God and his commands, and does not love other Christians, does not belong to God."
Take a minute to reread that last paragraph, no seriously, do it, I'll wait. Alright, you done? Great! Go back and read it again, I'm serious you, yea you at the computer! Now, what is the biggest thing that stood out to you in that paragraph? For me it was the part that goes something like this, "it shows they belong to the Devil" and "children of the Devil". Now I can't speak for you, but I personally as a believer don't want to be accused of being a child of the Devil. Sadly that's about how the world is today, many people accept Christ as their Lord and Savior then go right back to doing whatever it was they were doing before; I myself was guilty of this right up until the beginning of this year.
I have one last visual representation for you to think on before I bring part 1 to a close. Picture being at the final judgement, standing in a long line waiting to cross into heaven with Jesus reading names out of the Book of Life of who can pass and who can't. Finally you get to the front of the line and he looks down at you, imagine that he can see all the things you've ever done and how you've lived your life, what do you think he would assume before checking the book. "Hmm, so you think you're getting into heaven after the life you've lived huh? Lol, I guess we'll just see about that won't we? Huh, looks like you are in here, seems you "dedicated" your life way back in the day and never did a righteous thing in your life. Well, I guess that means that you get to sneak on in with the others, the ones who actually did live the life I intended, but stand at the back!"
I'm in no way, shape, or form implying that is how Jesus acts, in fact I know it to be the exact opposite; but be honest with yourself, is that sort of how you could imagine your judgement going? At the beginning of this post I told you to prepare yourselves for an eye opening experience, and I feel quite certain that many of you have received just that, an eye opener. It's time to stop living the way that you see fit while proclaiming a true love for God, if you truly loved him, you would never be able to live the lifestyle which you are now. When I say "you", I'm speaking to the individuals who fall prey to continuous sin, who do not seek forgiveness, and do not ask for the strength to overcome the sins they commit. For those of you who have already reached that point in your relationship and walk with God where you are living correctly, let this be a friendly reminder and warning to you.
As this post has already become quite long and I've barely even begun to scratch the surface of this chapter, or even gotten into the main topic yet, that being love; I'll be continuing on a second article, which will be posted up in a few days.
Update: You can read part 2 here - God is Love! Part 2
Update: You can read part 2 here - God is Love! Part 2
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Thank you for reading and God Bless!