“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.
This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.—1 Timothy 2:3-4
The Scriptures speak clearly of existence after death—people will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Yet many individuals consider this truth inconsistent with other facts about the Lord. While their objections are understandable, the Bible provides the answers:
How can the Lord be good if He lets some people spend eternity in hell? God is love (1 John 4:8), and He doesn’t want anyone to live without Him (1 Timothy 2:4). According to His plan, every person can turn from sin and receive the Savior, enjoying His presence both now and throughout eternity. Some, however, reject Jesus Christ and live apart from Him all their days. Unless they change that tragic decision, their separation from divine love will continue eternally.
Why would God create certain individuals, knowing they’d never turn to Him? To some, this seems unloving. Yet God so values our free will that He won’t force anyone to go to heaven against his or her will. Doing so would amount to creating robots who are unable to truly respond, love, and worship.
An endless penalty seems unfair, especially if a non-Christian never heard the gospel. As long as unbelievers are alive, the heavenly Father goes to great lengths to keep them from eternal punishment—except He won’t violate their free will. He gives enough time and evidence so that nobody has a valid excuse for rejecting the one path to salvation (Rom. 1:20).
Jesus wants you to spend eternity with Him. So do you know Him as your Lord and Savior?
“God is strong and can keep you from falling. He can bring you before his glory without any wrong in you and give you great joy”— Jude 1:24 NIV
On what basis can we make it all the way to the glory of the next life and everything it includes? Does it all depend on us? Does it all depend on our ability to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong? Not according to our verse for today.
According to our verse, it all depends on God. It all depends on God’s strength. We will make it through to the end because God is strong. He is the awesome and almighty Lord of heaven and earth who controls the destiny of all things and He can make sure that we stand firm to the end. He can make sure that we receive the three things promised in our verse.
First, He can keep us from falling. That is, God can keep us from falling away from faith in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the one who predestined us to be conformed to the image of His son and He can keep us from falling away from the son (Romans 8:29). Even though we may still sin, we will not abandon the faith. Although we may stumble, we will not fall, for the Lord upholds us with His hand (Psalm 37:24).
Second, God can bring us before His glory without any wrong in us. That is, God’s glory will be revealed on Judgement Day and He can make sure that at that time we are “blameless and holy” (I Thessalonians 3:13) and “without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22). Our righteousness before Him will not be due to anything we have done, but because He has sustained our faith in Jesus Christ.
Finally, He can give us great joy. On Judgement Day we will have great joy because we will be found acceptable in the sight of God. As a result, we will inherit all the blessings of the next life. We will have great joy knowing that we have been rescued from sin, sorrow, and an eternity in hell.
If you have stumbled, don’t forget that God is strong. He will keep you from falling all the way down.