This post is a little peek into something I learned in my Quiet Time. My Quiet Time consists of time in the Word, praying, and sometimes writing Scripture or observations. This time with the Lord has not been well-organized for many years...and I'm not really sure why. Back in the day, I used to have quite a lovely routine going. Now it is harder for my brain to focus. I have to walk into a different room--far from my phone--if I want to be eternity-minded and not tempted to respond like Pavlov's dog to that incessant buzzing indicating a new text or email has arrived.
Anyways, back to that peek...
So, last year I read through the Bible and gained much from that exercise. Have you done this before? If not, I highly recommend you do. This is an excellent way to see the BIG story of Jesus. By the year's end, though, I realized that I personally needed to slow things down and park in some Bible books. Wherever I had questions last year, but needed to move on to keep 'on plan'...that's where I'm parking this year.
One of those places is 1 John. Last week I read and re-read and dwelled and (sorta kinda partly) memorized the first chapter. Because I was spending so much more time in this one location, I noticed something. And that's what I want to share with you today.
If we say
that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk
in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess
our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say
that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
These verses at the end of the first chapter start with similar conditional clauses--if this, then that. This much is obvious. But, as I dwelled on this similarity and on the differences between the sentences, I found this:
- There is an every-other-sentence pattern. Negative, positive, negative, positive, negative.
- In the negative statements, we say something, but it is not true.
- In the positive statements, we do something and the result is that Jesus then does something.
- The negative statements have to do with our words alone.
- The positive statements have to do with our actions.
We can say all sorts of things. We can say (or live like) we have no sin. We've got this down, we don't need any help, no one needs to speak truth into my life! We may even be walking in the darkness of sin, but because we insist we're walking with Jesus, we think that's ok.
John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say...if this is you, you're a liar. You're deceived.
But, when we live like Jesus, then that's another story. When we see our sin and confess it to God as an offense against Him, He heals us! He cleanses us from that sin! And, when we live like Jesus and walk in His ways, in His light, then we get to enjoy solid relationships with one another and experience the joy of our sins being cleansed by Jesus.
Actions reveal the state of our hearts. We can say things all day long, but if our actions don't line up, then our words make us out to be liars. If you find yourself convicted by this Scripture today, if your actions are proving you to be deceived, then focus on the hope in these verses.
Confess your sins. See them, hate them, confess and enjoy the fullness of Christ's cleansing and forgiveness.
Walk out in the light. A child of God is a new creation. Walk out in newness of life. Don't be like your old self. But, be sure you do this in Jesus because it's Him who is doing that work in you.