Monday 04 January 2010

Bible Book:
1 John

"Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous." (v.7

1 John 3:7-10 Monday 4 January 2010


This first letter of John is all about the nature of God. Johnis explaining the different ways in which we can relate to ourcreator and the ways in which our heavenly parent relates to us inreturn. The readings this week are exploring the concept of God aslove. What does that mean for us if we are children of God?

It would be easy to use this passage as a big stick to beat peoplewith. The idea that those who continue to sin are not truebelievers has been used throughout history to oppress and persecuteparticular groups. Sadly it is still used by some today. SomeChristians still say that you cannot be Christian and "xxxx",inserting a variety of adjectives into the space: gay, cohabiting,drink alcohol, rich. I am sure you can think of others. However,this is twisting John's message. This is allowing ourselves to beled astray.

John is telling us about God. If we live in God and God lives in usthen we do not sin. We are not automatically made perfect but Godgives us the strength to fight our own personal weaknesses. Tryingand failing is not sinful. Sin is deliberately turning away fromGod, rejecting God's love and giving up. Sin is deciding that weare beyond redemption and living in self-pity orself-loathing.

This is not what God wants. God wants us to love ourselves and loveone another (see John13:34-35). It is this love which characterises the truebeliever.

To Ponder

Sometimes we judge other people's faith. How canyou learn to see God in everyone you meet?

Sometimes it is hard to forgive ourselves. Howcan you break the cycle of self-loathing and seek God's love?

Sometimes we twist the message of the Bible tosuit ourselves. How can you come to understand what God is sayingthrough the Scriptures?

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