“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9
Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God’s Holy Spirit lives in you. Through Him, God enables you to do everything He asks, making the possibilities for service limitless.
Have you been sitting on the sidelines because you have let sin and shame discourage you? Perhaps you feel as though God can’t use your broken vessel.
Don’t let your feelings overshadow the truth! God is big enough to forgive you, restore you, and use you to restore others. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Once you have confessed and turned from your sins, you are cleansed—but God does not purify you and empower you with His Spirit merely to make you feel good. God’s purification process fulfills the Scriptures and equips His children for service. The question is not, “Do I have the power?” It is, “How will I use that power?”
5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.—1 John 1:5-7
One of the main reasons Christians doubt their salvation is the presence of sin in their life. According to 1 John 1:6, people who profess faith while continuing in a sinful lifestyle are deceiving themselves and walking in darkness. Verse 7, however, offers reassurance to those who are truly saved: Though they’ll still sin at times, this doesn’t mean they’ve lost their salvation. Today’s passage explains how believers are to deal with sin when it occurs in their life:
Confess your sins (1 John 1:9). Confession should be our first response when we stumble and fall. It means acknowledging to God that we’ve acted in a manner inconsistent with His character and standards and are in need of His promised forgiveness and cleansing.
Know that Christ is your Advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1-2). It’s never God’s will that we sin, but when we do, Jesus is our Defender in God’s courtroom. His sacrifice fully atoned for our sin and satisfied divine justice. When we repented and believed that Christ died for our sins, we were justified and declared righteous before God.
Know that sin is not a continuing practice in the life of a true believer (1 John 3:9). Since we’re born of God and the Holy Spirit abides in us, we cannot continue in sin. Although there may be brief periods of transgression, God’s Spirit works in us to change our desires and practices.
A believer’s disobedience brings the Lord’s discipline, not loss of salvation. However, as God’s children, we should never excuse our disobedience or abuse God’s grace by living in sin. Instead, we’re to pursue obedience and holiness.
(Presented with permission | © In Touch Ministries)
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.— Romans 8:26-27 NLT
As a believer, you are not left to your own resources to cope with problems. Even when you don’t know the right words to pray, the Holy Spirit prays with and for you, and God answers. With God helping you pray, you don’t need to be afraid to come before him.
Ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you “in harmony with God’s own will.” Then, when you bring your requests to God, trust that he will always do what is best.
Every person needs to hear a “wonderful.” Here is why. Companies spend billions of dollars to convince us that we are chubby, smelly, ugly and out-of-date. Inadequacy indwells a billion hearts.
Would you distribute encouragement? Will you make some happiness happen? Will you remind humanity that we are made in God’s image? That we are chosen, destined, and loved?
Start by listening intently. Ask someone to tell you his, or her, story. Give the rarest of gifts— your full attention.
Praise abundantly. Biblical encouragement is no casual, kind word but rather a premeditated resolve to lift the spirit of another person. Everyone needs a cheerleader.
Give the gift that God loves to give—the gift of encouragement. This is how happiness happens.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.— II Thessalonians 3:16 ESV
Paul began his letter by giving thanks to the LORD for the Thessalonians (II Thessalonians 1:3) and he closes the letter with the blessing “The Lord be with you all.”
Today, may the LORD of peace grant you peace at all times and in every way, and may He be with you wherever you go and in whatever you do.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.—Psalm 37:4
God’s blessings are so rich and abundant that we must guard against loving Him merely for what He gives us. He Himself is to be the greatest passion of a believer’s life. And if this is true of us, then we will prioritize Him over possessions, vocation, and even other relationships.
Yet some people miss the true message of Psalm 37:4 because they focus only on the part that seems to say they can get what they want from God. It’s important to notice that the qualifying statement attached to that promise is devotion to Him: “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (emphasis added).
Although God “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy,” they should never supplant our delight in Him (1 Timothy 6:17). For instance, God has made it possible for me to travel and photograph some beautiful places, but I know that the key to enjoying life is to delight in Him above all else. God’s rightful place is as Lord of our life; to give anything else that position puts us at risk and dishonors Him.
The human heart is naturally selfish, and without God as top priority, we will likely pursue earthly goods and pleasures. But when He is our first love, those cravings are replaced by desires that fit His will and purpose for us.
Although David faced great tragedy and heartache, he understood that a heart devoted to the Lord also knows delight and blessing. Take David’s words to heart, and let the Lord become your top priority. You will discover that knowing Him is your greatest delight.