May 15, 2011
Read: 1 John 3:10-18
Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God. —1 John 3:10
The book titled UnChristian lists reasons why some non-Christians don’t like people who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Their major complaints have to do with the way some Christians act toward unbelievers. The unbelievers in the study tended to view Christians as being hypocritical, judgmental, harsh, and unloving toward people not like themselves.
I’m sure you dislike hearing their view of Christians as I do. Sometimes there’s more truth in their perceptions than we wish there was. In 1 John 3, which begins with the words, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (v.1), John introduces a sharp contrast: Believers love righteousness, keep themselves from sin, and love one another; nonbelievers practice sin, hate others, and abide in death.
These are strong words! We are either followers of Jesus Christ or of the devil. We are like Cain or Abel (v.12; Gen. 4:8-15). John says that love for others is what proves we are genuine children of God (3:10,18-19; 4:7-8). We can’t continue to practice sin and claim to be followers of Christ. Let’s always make sure our words and deeds back up our beliefs.
O help us, Lord, to live our lives
So unsaved people clearly see
Reflections of Your loving heart,
Your kindness, and Your purity. —Sper
Following Christ has two requirements:
Believing, and acting like you do.