Daily Devotional Thoughts This Week’s Study: 1 John 2:3-17 Monday - Walking in obedience. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked (1 John 2:3-6). We are called to walk the walk not just talk the talk!  Want to know if you really  “know” Christ? John gives you a crystal clear test.  “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.”  If we claim to be in that close, saving relationship with God and walk in continual, wilful disobedience we are liars and the truth is not in us.  It is just that simple. “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.”  We show the love of God is perfected in us by keeping God’s word.  But you say, “I thought we were saved by grace!”  “Yes we are.”  “Then what is all this about obeying God’s word?”  Very simple, our actions show what is really going on in our lives.  And the good news is even our obedience, even our keeping of God’s law is something we can’t produce of ourselves alone!  Obedience happens as we allow Christ to live in us (see Galatians 2:20). Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. . . . By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked (1 John 2:3-6). Tuesday - Walking in the light means we love our fellow human beings. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:9-11). Today’s devotional text parallels yesterday’s texts.  Yesterday we were told that we should walk as Jesus walked.  Obedience, or the keeping of God’s commandments shows we really do “know” God.  If we say we know Him and don’t  keep His commandments we are liars. Today, we are told that if we say we are “in the light,” and hate our brother we are in darkness and with our eyes blinded by the darkness. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. Notice verse 10:  “He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.”  When we learn to love our brothers and sisters the way God loves them, we will abide in the light and give “no cause for stumbling.” I don’t know about you but I long for that kind of love, that kind of relationship with others.  I long to love others the way God loves me.  I long to walk in the light and give no cause for stumbling to others! Wednesday  - Do not love the world. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him  (1 John 2:15). What do you think is meant by loving the world or the things of the world?  Do you suppose we too easily forget that we are just passing through, that this world is not our home?  We must keep our focus on the important things of life.  We must NOT allow the allure of worldly success, lust, or things side track us in our journey toward our heavenly home. Jesus warned: “‘No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon’” (Matthew 6:24). We have to make a choice.  Are we going with God or are we serving the world?  Paul counseled: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). So which way are you heading today? “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” Thursday - The world is passing away but he who does the will of God abides forever (Part 1). For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:16-17). What has our attention?  Are we focused on the things of this world?  What occupies our mind, our thoughts, our words?  Are we focused on “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life?” Just exactly what is this talking about?  It is talking about all the transient things of this world.  “All that is in the world” includes all on this planet that occupies our time.  We are reminded that “all the world is passing away.”  We do well to adjust our perspective and priorities with that in mind. The lust of the flesh and the eyes refers to all our senses desire.  Not everything we desire here is necessarily bad.  While the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes includes all we desire it specifically does point out inordinate, sensual gratification.  We must keep even proper desire subordinate to the demands of eternity.  And sinful desire must be overcome as we moment by moment surrender to God and allow Him to transform us by the continual renewing of our minds. Remember, “the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  Let us live with this tattooed prominently in front of our eyes. Friday/Weekend -  The world is passing away but he who does the will of God abides forever (Part 2). For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:16-17). The “pride of life” refers to ostentatious boasting, arrogance, pride.  As Christians we have no room for boasting and pride.  Our only boasting must be about Christ and all He does in our lives. So much of what occupies our minds has no eternal value. I once heard a preacher say, “Do you realize that most of those you watch on TV are not planning to go to heaven?”  He has a point doesn’t he?  We make a big mistake when we waste much of our waking thoughts on actors, actresses and sports heroes.  Why?  because most of them are not planning to go to heaven.  The life styles they portray, the lives they live do not lead us closer to our God. And it isn’t just entertainment heroes we need to avoid.  This text is speaking directly to us.  What has our attention?  Are we focused on the things of this world?  What occupies our minds, our thoughts, our words?  Are we focused on “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life?” Everything, even the good things, everything that overwhelms and crowds out our relationship with God must take second place to the legitimate demands of God our Creator.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Press <Control>+D to bookmark this page 2010 Marvin Glass, Inc. And now back to more great Southern Gospel Music!