I can say that I`m a Christian, but living the life of a true Christian isn`t always so easy. The epistles of John present some of the most challenging and searching statements in the whole of Scripture. In today`s verse John is careful to show that receiving God`s gift of salvation is one thing, but living out that gift is another. We may know about what God`s done for us through the sacrifice of Jesus, but do we know God in the intimate way He desires, the way that will affect our daily living?
As we develop and grow in our faith we`re constantly challenged to know what it is God`s asking of us. As we spend time reading through the Bible we discover how our lives can become purified. As the psalmist says `How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word` (See Psalm 119:9).
Living the life of a Christian is not just a matter of rejoicing in the knowledge of our salvation. It`s knowing and doing the kind of things Jesus demonstrated; things like loving our enemy, feeding the hungry, giving to the poor, caring for the stranger, healing the sick and driving out demons. Jesus empowers us to do all these things by His Holy Spirit.
Jesus said `Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled` (Matthew 5:6). John Stott explained this means we long for `a right relationship with God on the one hand and a moral righteousness of character and conduct on the other`. That kind of `righteousness` that will satisfy us completely, and will bear the kind of fruit Jesus is looking for in our lives.
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for the challenges of Your Word. As I read these challenges, and Your Holy Spirit uses them to disturb me, please help me to respond with the kind of humility and dedication that Jesus demonstrated, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
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