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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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1 John

Love, If You Have it You Probably Are His!

1 John 4 15.16.JPG

1 John 4

Since yesterday’s devotion might not have been particularly uplifting, we are heading a different direction this morning. In case readers did not read yesterday’s, we discussed the possibility that a lack of expressed love in one’s life and conduct might be a warning sign that a person might question their actual personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today, we are going to briefly discuss the opposite condition. Let’s review love again very briefly. We have talked about love as a feeling we have towards particular people. In other words, there is “love” as expressed towards those we like, those we might be simply duty bound to love and those who will return something to us. We should all know by now, that is not the definition God uses for love. His love in an action based, self sacrificial love and is modeled on the actions of His Son Jesus Christ.

Can an unsaved person love extensively? Of course they can. The world is full of lost people who show great acts of love. Can an unsaved person love self sacrificially? Of course they can. History is full of examples of that. Is it likely that an unsaved person will live a lifestyle of self-sacrificing love towards every single person they meet? Probably not; in fact, the odds are slim that most saved people could do that on a continuous basis.

However, read our verse. Dwelling in love could be defined as constantly living a state of self-sacrificing love toward all those around you. And understand, that may also mean simply desiring to live that life, because as sinners we still fail daily. If that is true, then further reading reveals some encouraging news. A person who dwells in love, dwells in God, who dwells in that person.

So, while a lack of self-sacrificing love in one’s life could be cause for worry; the presence of it as a lifestyle should be a very strong encouragement for a person to rest comfortably in their salvation through Jesus Christ.

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No Love? You Might Not Be His

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1 John 3:14,15

We are continuing on with our devotional series on love. We have defined love, talked about what love is and covered ways love can be put into action. Today is not going to be a particularly uplifting devotional, but hopefully will be something to think about and consider.

The verse above clearly refers to Salvation. Salvation is when we pass from death to life, and to not be saved is to still abide and death. But there are two other key components of that passage we are going to briefly look at.

First is the statement that if we don’t love the brethren, we still abide in death. That is a harsh statement on the surface. If we profess salvation, and do not love our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, there are only two alternatives. One is that we are saved, but simply in full rebellion against Jesus’ command to love. In that case, we should certainly feel the conviction and chastisement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Option two is simple; our profession of faith may not have been real!

But, there is quite an upside as well. This we find in the statement, “we know.” When we talk about the Assurance of Salvation, we aren’t just talking about the fact that it is eternal and that we never lose it; we are also talking about the fact that we can KNOW we have salvation through Jesus Christ. And love is one of the tools God has so wonderfully given us to provide assurance. Feeling doubtful? We all have at times. Do you really, truly demonstrate love towards your Brothers and Sisters in Christ? Then, you are probably doubting for no good reason.

Turn loose of your doubts (the ones Satan so desperately wants you to hang on to), and get busy in your freedom in Jesus doing the thing or things He has actually called you to do!

Love Walk the Talk

1 John 3 17.18

1 John 3:14-18

John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, asked a very pointed question in that passage: He basically is asking how, if one person has sufficiency to help a brother in need but does not, he or she can even claim to be Christian?

That passage is all about “Walking the talk.” We can talk all day about how we love; we can even make claims about how we feel about another person. But until we put legs on that love, John is saying we cannot make a legitimate claim to belonging to Jesus.

John’s guidance to us is that we stop just talking about who we love; the Holy Spirit is guiding us to put our love into action. We have already covered the fact that Christlike love is much more than a feeling; it is actions.

Specifically, this passage is talking about helping others when you have resources and they do not. It doesn’t necessarily mean just financial resources, either. We all have something in abundance that another does not. It might be money; it might be time; it might be a skill. Whatever it is that we have an abundance of, God tells us that we should share that abundance with someone in need.

What can we do today to actually show somebody we love them? Is there someone you can think of? If you can think of someone today, take the opportunity to actually do something for them!

So, You Say You Have No Sin?

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1 John 1:5-10

So, here we have it. One of the biggest things that holds back men and women from salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus came so save us from our sin. If we don’t even understand that we are sinners, then, as the verse above says, “the truth is not in us.” I could say it no more clearly than that.

“I’m NOT a sinner, and I don’t need any saving!!!”

Yes, you are. I am, you are and we all are. We sin by nature and choice.

But let’s get more specific. It’s easy to toss out the general idea about how we are all sinners by nature and by choice. But we should actually discuss some particulars of our sin. Most people would agree that the Ten Commandments are a major source of a great number of the specifics of God’s Law. We should give ourselves a test. By the way I fail this test miserably!

Have you ever told a lie? Any lie, small or large. Any lie, whether a little white lie or a big black one? What is a person who tells lies called? A liar of course

Have you ever stolen anything? Big or little. Have you stolen a pencil at work? Run copies on the company printer? Have you cut in line? Then you stole that person’s spot. What do you call someone who steals? A thief of course.

Have you ever used God’s name in vain? This doesn’t even have to be the most obvious one where we actually use His name as a curse word. Have you called Him “the Big Guy?” Any use of the Holy name of God in a flip way is considered blasphemy by God.

Ever looked at a member of the opposite sex with lust? Of course we all have, unless we like the same sex. Jesus taught that to look at a woman with lust is to commit adultery of the heart.

We really have not gotten through all of the Ten Commandments, which are His moral law, and we have established that for the most part we are all lying, stealing, blaspheming adulterers at heart! (Thanks to Ray Comfort for that little test by the way)

So, the only question that remains is: Someday when you stand before God will you be found innocent or guilty? Based on our test, the answer obviously seems guilty is the only possible answer. To really get this, we have to understand and try to look at the issue from God’s perspective. We might look at some of those things and just not consider them to be a big deal; however, God disagrees. The real issue is this: Do we get to rate ourselves, so to speak, against our own human thoughts about right and wrong, or are we subject to the evaluation of a Perfect and Holy God?

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