Sunday, July 7, 2013

Strangers


 

 1 John 3:1-10  Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God's dear children. And that's what we are. For this reason the world doesn't recognize us, and it didn't recognize him either.  (2)  Dear friends, now we are God's children. What we will be isn't completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is.  (3)  So all people who have this confidence in Christ keep themselves pure, as Christ is pure.  (4)  Those who live sinful lives are disobeying God. Sin is disobedience.  (5)  You know that Christ appeared in order to take away our sins. He isn't sinful.  (6)  Those who live in Christ don't go on sinning. Those who go on sinning haven't seen or known Christ.  (7)  Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what God approves of has God's approval as Christ has God's approval.  (8)  The person who lives a sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does.  (9)  Those who have been born from God don't live sinful lives. What God has said lives in them, and they can't live sinful lives. They have been born from God.  (10)  This is the way God's children are distinguished from the devil's children. Everyone who doesn't do what is right or love other believers isn't God's child.



Here is my simple devotion for today. I was reading in I John this week and this passage really hit me hard. Yes, I have read it 200 times before but Holy Spirit was directing me to it for a purpose. Maybe to gauge my own heart. Maybe to share it completely with others and challenge the church. Either way it had an impact to me.


We are strangers in this world. Those who are not of the faithful should look upon us with a face of bewilderment. Why are those Christians always happy? Why do they live a life of purity? Why do they seem to be free from depression and worry? Why aren't they getting a divorce? How do they live a life of sexual purity? What is their secret? Why do they forgive each other and carry on? Why do they treat each other with respect and don't let petty differences hold them back?

Does the world actually ask those questions today of us? I can't fully answer this question. I am not sure if I can fully answer this question if presented on a personal level. I would hope the world would ask those questions about me as I try to represent Christ to them, but sadly I wonder if I am being the complete package. Am I a stranger enough to spark curiosity to the indifferent?

In today's American Christian culture, the message of sin has become tainted with muddy water. Oh the Baptist still preach about it hard enough but it is usually wrapped around their man-made doctrine. I am talking about SIN. Biblical Sin. The Bible even has lists of what they are. For some reason, we started looking at them through the muddy glass. I believe, and I am guilty of this sometimes, that our sermons and messages have become more topical instead of expository. We have loss some of the main meaning in the mystery of God's word. The depth, to the core, message has become splintered at the trunk of the tree. Therefore, many Christians live in a grey area of their faith. Jesus was very clear. If we sin continually without repentance; we are not a part of His kingdom. He made it clear that the world would hate us because of this message. Just like the world laughed and hated Noah for his message. We should be strangers or enigmas to the current world's system. The question is this. Are you living your life according to this passage of scripture? This one passage which encompasses many more throughout scripture? Think about it. Below are some points to consider.

Being a stranger to this world.

1. Clearly become the Child of God you are meant to be. Children of God reflect His character every day.
2. Become unrecognizable to the world by living a holy life.
3. Live your life like Christ is returning this very moment.
4. Keep your confidence in Christ at all times.
5. Live a life of purity at all times.
6. Understand that Sin equals disobedience. Flee from the sinful life. Use the Bible to know what exactly sin is.
7. Live a life that God approves. Don't live your life to seek the approval of men.
8. Christians who sin continually without repentance are not Christians but Satanists.
9. Children born of God can't sin naturally.
10. If you don't love or forgive your brother or sister in Christ, then you are not a child of God.

Powerful points from a powerful book. People might ask. You want me to be perfect but there is only one who is perfect? I would answer. Yes you are correct and He lives inside of me. Should not His perfection change me and make me more like Him?

Become the strangers to this world and make a difference in His kingdom. This is all God is asking of us today.


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