Today’s Sabbath Word
1 John 3 (MSG)
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it – we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to. But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him – and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own. All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God’s order. Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program. No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They’ve got him all backwards. So, my dear children, don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah. Those who make a practice of sin are straight from the Devil, the pioneer in the practice of sin. The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways. People conceived and brought into life by God don’t make a practice of sin. How could they? God’s seed is deep within them, making them who they are. It’s not in the nature of the God-begotten to practice and parade sin. Here’s how you tell the difference between God’s children and the Devil’s children: The one who won’t practice righteous ways isn’t from God, nor is the one who won’t love brother or sister. A simple test. For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other. We must not be like Cain, who joined the Evil One and then killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because he was deep in the practice of evil, while the acts of his brother were righteous. So don’t be surprised, friends, when the world hates you. This has been going on a long time. The way we know we’ve been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters.Anyone who doesn’t love is as good as dead. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together. This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.
In this chapter, God identifies his children and distinguishes between His children and those of the devil. He doesn’t call everybody His child, but only those who are obeying His original commandments, living according to His ordained design and purpose for men and women, loving one another with a sacrificial love and who are endowed with the nature of God through the Spirit of God that has been implanted deep within them at Rebirth. i.e., repentance, baptism by submersion into water in the name of Jesus Christ and the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
God calls all those who pervert, twist and contradict His Way and His Word sin practitioners and children of the Devil. He doesn’t equivocate about their true nature of origin. He plainly says that they are not His children but belong to the Devil.
Another interesting fact that many overlook in this chapter is the practice of sacrificial love by the children of God. Children of God do not hoard or accumulate worldly wealth and riches to spend only on themselves but they are instructed to demonstrate TRUE LOVE by relieving the sufferings of their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Otherwise the love of God is not in them and they disqualify themselves from being called God’s child for they have valued their riches over what God holds most precious – the human soul. It is this singular point that testifies against all prosperity preachers who only feed themselves while the everyday Christians suffer severe poverty and lack (Ezek 13 and Jude 1:12). Where is their love? Is it only for third world countries? Where is their compassion for their poor neighbors, orphans, widows and the disabled? How can they live in the lap of luxury, own multimillion dollar homes and private jet planes and stay in luxury hotels while their brothers and sisters live in constant danger and the threat of eviction, starvation, inadequate medical care, indecent housing and other sufferings? Have they not heard or read what Jesus told the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-23? “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Today’s Sabbath Prayer
Father, I pray to You today in the name of—*YeHoWsHua HaMashiach – The Anointed One from the Father – Jesus the Messiah. Father, I am grateful for the privilege of being your child. I thank You for Christ Jesus and The Name that You bestowed upon Him. Salvation is in no other name. I praise You Father in the name of Christ Jesus for Your loving kindness and tender mercies that rescued me and adopted me into our family. Hallelujah!!! Help me to live as You would have me to live—keeping all of Your original commandments and obeying all of your instructions in Christ Jesus. I want to live according to Your purpose and will. I seek to please only You and to bring joy and happiness to Your heart. I want to love like my daddy loves – with a sacrificial love that keeps on giving. Bless me and empower me with the resources needed to show love; to relieve the sufferings of my brothers and sisters. Give me a heart that sees beyond the veil and meets the needs of those in distress. Guard my heart against selfish indulgencies and the love of worldly wealth and riches. Help me never to pervert Your Word or change Your divine order. You are perfect in all Your ways and a God of Truth. I am happy and content to be Your child. Make me more like You everyday. This is my prayer in the name of—*YeHoWsHua HaMashiach – The Anointed One from the Father – Jesus the Messiah. Amen.
Today’s Worship & Praise Offering
“When I think of the goodness of the Lord and all that HE has done for me, my soul cries out hallelujah! I thank God for saving me. He is so good that I can’t keep it to myself but I just can’t tell it all.” ~ O.W. Prince