G-MM™: Meditation Moment

The Free Press WV

I rise today with the power of God to pilot me,
God’s strength to sustain me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look ahead for me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to protect me,
God’s way before me,
God’s shield to defend me,
God’s host to deliver me,
from snares of devils,
from evil temptations,
from nature’s failings,
from all who wish to harm me,
far or near,
alone and in a crowd.

1 John 3:19-24 (GOD’s WORD Translation)
Judging Yourself

This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and how we will be reassured in his presence.

Whenever our conscience condemns us, we will be reassured that God is greater than our conscience and knows everything. Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we can boldly look to God and receive from him anything we ask. We receive it because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

This is his commandment: to believe in his Son, the one named Jesus Christ, and to love each other as he commanded us. Those who obey Christ’s commandments live in God, and God lives in them. We know that he lives in us because he has given us the Spirit.

Notes on the Scripture

One difficulty every Christian faces in his journey is that, sometimes, we question whether we really abide in Christ, or whether we are living in God’s grace and have found salvation. Most of us seem stuck in specific kinds of sinful behavior. Many men have difficulty with lust. Many of us find it nearly impossible not to get angry in certain situations. Envy and covetousness for material possession is another area where many of us have problems.

Although this passage is difficult, as it reads a little out of order and seems to contradict itself, it gives us some guidance in marking spiritual progress. First, we need to read it in the context of the entire section on loving one another. (1 John 3:11-24)

John, echoing Christ, defines two basic ”commandments,” faith in God (Christ) and love for others. The opposite of love is hate. John is telling us that when we reach the point where we do not hate anybody, we will know we belong to Christ. Specifically, John has told us that ”Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer.” (1 John 3:15) He has said this before, in verse 14: ”We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers.”

Hate is different from anger. Anger is an instantaneous emotion, an innate reaction, and although we might learn to control it, it might escape us in a second. Hatred is a long-term grudge. To hate someone, you have to rehearse the reasons and nurse it. One of its roots is an attitude that we have the right to judge another person. Hatred can be overcome with prayer, not easily and not always quickly, but with the help of the Holy Spirit it is within our capability.

When we have overcome our hatred with love and obedience, we can be reassured in God’s presence. We know we belong to the truth. But note, John has just instructed us that love is a matter of deeds, not words; so we must show our love in our actions.

John does not mean that we are condemned, if we are struggling with love and hatred of others, or when we have a guilty conscience. ”Whenever our conscience condemns us, we will be reassured that God is greater than our conscience.” We will still be saved, if we confess our sin and ask for forgiveness, believing in Christ. But it will be harder for us to feel the full peace and joy of God’s blessed grace.

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