Daily Devotional Thoughts This Week’s Study: 1 John 3:2-11 Monday - Beloved, we shall be like Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). Beloved! Notice the intimate term of endearment John uses.  And he is talking to you and me and all our brothers and sisters in Christ.  “Beloved,” he writes, “now we are the children of God. . . .” What a wonderful thought, now you are a child of God.  Now I am a child of God.  But listen now, John develops his thought further.  Now we are children of God, and I don’t know quite what we shall be, God hasn’t revealed it to me.  But this we know.  When God is fully revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. In Philippians 3:21 Paul writes: Christ  “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” Oh my! We will be transformed and conformed like His glorious body.  Don’t know quite what it will be like, but know I’m going to  like it!  Press forward dearly beloved.  He is coming soon! Tuesday - Purify yourself! And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:3). So, of what hope is our devotional text speaking?  The hope of Jesus’ return when we “shall be like Him.” He’s speaking of the time when our lowly bodies may be transformed and conformed like unto His glorious body (1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:21).  The time when  “God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes” (Revelation 21:4). In the meantime, we are told to purify ourselves.  How can we ever do that when “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags?” (Isaiah 64:6).   God’s plan for our redemption takes care of it! First we confess our sins (we agree we have sinned) and God forgives us (1 John 1:9).  As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).  Finally, we abide in Jesus and He causes us to bear much fruit (John 15:5). When Satan tempts us to be discouraged, our task is to look to Jesus in full confidence that Jesus will finish the work he started in us. Here are Paul’s encouraging words: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). So we have every right to look forward in hope to Christ’s return!  Let’s purpose to let God complete His work in us every day until He comes to take us home! Wednesday  - Sin is the transgression of God’s law. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin (1 John 3:4-5). Sin is clearly defined here, here is the way The King James Version translators put it: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).  Breaking, or going against, or rebelling against God’s law is sin.  Sin is what separates us from God.  The good news of the gospel is simply this: we are not left separated from God and without hope.  Jesus died in our place, that we might be reunited with God.  Our text tells us Christ “was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.”  We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Don’t you want that in your life today?  Jesus, fully God, perfect and without sin, came to this earth and took the guilt of your sin upon Himself.  He died the death you deserve “that [you] might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  It sounds to good to be true doesn’t it! But it is true. If you haven’t yet, why not come to Jesus just now, confess your sin, and let him clothe you in the righteousness of God. Thursday - Whoever abides in Christ does not (habitually sin). Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.  He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God (1 John 3:6-9). Taken at surface value this text can be disturbing.  The problem is very few of us have gone even a few hours without sinning in some way.  Even if we appear perfect on the outside, inside our heart is filled with all kinds of pettiness toward others, evil thoughts, and desires.  And yet our text tells us if we abide in Jesus we do not sin.  “Whoever has been born of God does not sin. . . .” The key to understanding this passage comes as we discover the tense of of the verbs used. John here draws a strong contrast between those who abide in Christ and those who by choice belong to Satan.  One habitually practices sinlessness and the other habitually practices sinfulness.   Looking at the original Greek words we find John is talking about a continual, habitual practice of sin.  If we abide in Christ we turn away from sin.  And when we do fall and sin, we find hope as well.  In the previous chapter of John, we read:  My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1). Praise the Lord!  We can abide in Christ and more and more turn away from sin.  And when we do sin, we can turn in repentance to our God and receive full forgiveness for the price of our sin is paid in full by our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Friday/Weekend -  The world does not know us because. . . . In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another  (1 John 3:10-11). Today’s text builds on the points John made in yesterday’s text.  John tells us the habitual pattern of our lives plainly reveals to whom we belong.  If we practice righteousness, the evidence reveals we are the children of God.  If we love our brothers and sisters we are God’s children. By contrast, those who don’t practice righteousness, those who don’t love their fellow human beings show by their lives they are “the children of the devil.” So which master are you choosing today?  God wants to give you rest, peace, and love forevermore.   Here in the words of Jesus is His invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Are you resting in Jesus today?  He is eager to give you the peace and rest you need throughout eternity.  And as you and I accept His gracious offer, our lives will manifest that we indeed to practice righteousness and love our fellow human beings.
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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!