Devotional

The Three F’s

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1 John 1:8-10

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to free [purify] us from all unrighteousness”.

Who is writing this? The author identifies himself: “We have seen and heard”. This is an eye witness account from one of the followers of Jesus Christ, the Apostle John. His goal is for his readers to enjoy fellowship which is “with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). Knowing his message will make a difference in the lives of those who accept it, will make his joy complete (:4).

Let’s unpack John’s proclamation. He is talking about his first-hand experience walking and working and listening to the “Word of life” for a period of three years. This “Word” means a lot to John – he wrote about Him in his gospel. Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of a promise made to Abraham (Genesis 12:3) appeared in person to folks living in Israel, but alas! ….the very nation to whom He offered Himself as a sacrifice for sins, rejected Him (John 1:11). Thankfully Jesus’ offer of eternal life extended then to “…all those who received Him, to those who believed in His name”. To these, down through centuries of time Jesus gives “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

What we see here in just a few short verses challenges you and me to receive and believe God’s eternal plan of salvation. All of us have sinned. No one has been able to measure up to God’s glory by doing good works. Neither can salvation be inherited. It is quite simply a personal acceptance of God’s gift, born out of His faithfulness to a promise made so very long ago! “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” God told Abraham (Genesis 12:3).

From the beginning of time God was aware of how fragile the humanity He created, is. Adam failed to live up to His standards, disbelieving the truth of what God had said. What a sad rejection of our loving heavenly Father! Only a few short generations of time elapsed before the wickedness in the then-known world was so great that God was forced to begin again, saving Noah and his sons, the only people left on earth to remain true to God by following Him.

Millenia later God sent His only begotten Son – incarnate God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, to save His people from their sins (1 Timothy 1:15). Surely this act of kindness demonstrates the love God yearns to share with mankind. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God”! (1 John 3:1). Jesus travelled throughout Judea “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3”:3). It isn’t enough to regret when we have done wrong, but repentance requires a turning away from those sins which so easily best us.

God knows the sincerity of our hearts and what motivates us to try harder to please Him. Knowing our weaknesses, God’s great love sets us free (John 8:36) from the bondage we naturally have – that terrible affinity to sin! He knows the battle we are in and provides us with the support we cannot live without. The indwelling Holy Spirit guides children of God into paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake (Psalm 23:3), thus restoring our souls!

Reflection:

Have you received forgiveness and freedom because you believed Jesus was sent by our faithful God? What does that make you? (…a child of God). What do you enjoy as a result? (freedom from bondage to sin, fellowship with the Father, fruitfulness and purpose, fearlessness as we war against evil).PTL!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)

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