April 24, 2017

The big lie is overthrown by an enormous truth!

One of the most common lies from Satan to the hearts of God’s people is that God does not love us. That might also be the biggest lie. We tend to measure love in non-biblical ways. Besides that, when life becomes uncomfortable or difficult, this lie really rattles our brains.

God’s love is not measured in the same manner as most think it should be. While He blesses us in many ways, the ultimate evidence of His love isn’t about the daily stuff of life. His love is the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rather than put on us wrath and punishment as our sin deserves, He bestowed grace and mercy.

This is true, no matter what else happens. Yet He didn’t stop there. When we believe Him, He makes us His children, restoring our likeness to Him, the likeness that was there in creation and marred by sin. He grants us eternal life and the promise of being like Jesus, a promise that begins in this life with an ability to say no to sin resulting in a renewal of purity.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

Wow! No wonder Satan tries to convince me that God does not care, that He isn’t really interested in who I am or what I do. Satan wants me to abandon my new life and forget about reflecting the life of Christ who lives in me. He wants me to get back into a lifestyle of sin, denying that God lives in me and has set me on a course of purity. He uses truth to encourage me away from the enemy’s lies . . . 

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.

“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:1–17)

Knowing that God loves me makes a huge difference in my attitude toward Him, but also toward His people. When I experience His love through other Christians, loving them in return is not a problem. Like Jesus, I am not impatient, rude, selfish, or unkind because I can see the person of Jesus who lives in them . . .

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:15–17)

It is the very presence of Jesus that binds us together, that draws us to each other, that build families, churches, communities filled with people who are like Him in this world, and whose hope includes a desire for increasing purity. We want His likeness in us visible to everyone, and the devil knows that if he can convince us that the love of God is absent, we will turn inward and blur that vision.

Jesus Christ, son of God, the most amazing truth is that You come to live within Your people. Even though we do things contrary at times, mess up, forget, fall for the lie, and fail in our effort for purity, You persist and in Your persistence, we thrive as Your beloved children. How utterly blessed we are! Thank You for Your patient persistence with us, and thank You for the love of God that gave You to us. We are so glad for You.

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