“Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 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.”
1 John 3:7-9 NLT
Sometimes I think we can forget who God is. His character can become something we repeat to others and think we understand but in actuality, its impact is lost on us after we accept God in our lives.
As Christians, do we actively avoid and confront our own sin? Or do we justify it saying “as long as I get into heaven, it doesn’t matter how closely I follow the Bible.”
Personally, I likely fall into the justification category. I can consistently not do my best in my marriage because we don’t believe in divorce. 🤔 I can slack on the dreams God’s given me because I have time. I can walk in unforgiveness or forgive them later instead of immediately, because I have a choice.
We have free will. But it isn’t license to disregard the very real sacrifice that Jesus gave.
If we think free will means we can choose to half heartedly follow God, I wonder if we really understand the commitment we made to God. It’s more than purity, we should dedicate our lives to becoming more like Him.
It’s more than a salvation prayer or attending church. It’s more than trying to do good. Is your heart’s cry: Lord help me to become more like you for your glory?
I think it’s just as important not to get legalistic, as it is not to jump in with “we all fall short” arguments. Sure, we have all sinned. But if you wrestle with the scriptures above, searching for a wormhole or clause–God is speaking to you concerning your heart. The Bible says be holy as he is holy. If you’ve been deceived either by teaching or your own complacency, you can start fresh today.
Lord, we’ve been serving you with our feet up. We’ve been living life our way just sort of waiting for heaven. We’ve neglected to seek your will for our lives. We have made the only life on Earth we get–about ourselves, our pursuits, our desires, our feelings and have pretty much shut you out. We turn to you in Sundays but live our own way during the week because we believed accepting you was the end of our job description. Now we are starting to see, there’s more. There’s a holiness and a command to actively flee sin daily that we’ve ignored and chosen to justify our own actions. We see now that we’ve been called to keep your commands. It’s not “extra”, “fire and brimstone teaching”, “unfair,” or judgmental. We’ve forgotten that you are a righteous judge and there is no evil in you. Help us to take this walk with God slow, open our hearts to reading your word. Help us live with a hunger for your presence through prayer, with no fear of being called “religious.” No, this is how we walk in relationship with Jesus who died that we might be able to even have a right relationship with Him. Amen