January 30 – Paradox

January 30 – Paradox

1 John 1:8 & 3:8-9

John says some puzzling things, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1 :8) then he adds in chapter 3,” The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning…..No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” (1 John 3 :8-9).

This is one reason we tend to go to an extreme is that the Bible itself emphasizes both sides of the truth about our Christian experience. Consider the verses above for example. The two passages seem contradictory, don’t they? However, two truths, are clear:

  1. If you think you can have an experience that will remove all possibility of failure, and eliminate spiritual combat, you are badly deceived. And
  2. If you think you can live as you please continuing in deliberate sin and still be OK with God, you are even more deceived.

Joe was way out of alignment with God. He’d gotten into drugs and partying quite naturally-his parents were alcoholics. When he came to Christ the change was dramatic. But he had a long way to go. Although he was fun to be with, outgoing and smart, he didn’t sound much like Jesus and he sure didn’t act like Him! Joe did, however, have one characteristic I’ve never quite seen in anyone else. Like many, he found admitting he was wrong or seeing what God expected of him difficult; but once he saw it, he changed. Period.

When he finally saw, for example, that he shouldn’t spend all his time out talking to everyone else, but needed to spend some of his time at home with his wife and children, he just changed. He rearranged his entire life pattern to do right. In one area after another, Joe would finally see the truth, accept it, and spiral up a notch into greater likeness to Jesus . The Bible calls it the fruit of the Spirit.

When we make the big turnaround, yielding to God’s will and trusting Him to work, the Holy Spirit begins to change us. We become more like Jesus in our attitudes, in our view of things, in our goals and ambitions, in our responses and behavior. Consequently, we get closer and closer to Him in daily companionship (2 Corinthians 3 :18). The more we know Him, the more we love Him; the more we love Him, the more we want to be with Him; the more we’re with Him the more we want to be like Him ; the more we change to be like Him, the better we know Him, the more we love Him – the spiral continues toward likeness to Christ and a greater love relationship with God.

The ultimate goal God has in mind for you isn’t merely a change in character to resemble Jesus. God intends for you to be like Jesus in another way, in your intimate love relationship with the Father. That’s the grand climax of your existence as a redeemed human being. What does it mean to be best friends here and now, and how do we experience that intimacy? Why not spend a few minutes now and reflect on your attitude toward deliberate sin – are you arrogant in choosing to go your own way? and secondly how you get to be good friends with someone and what helps the friendship grow? That translates to our relationship with Jesus- knowing Him, wanting to be with Him, becoming like Him, loving Him more.

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