1 John 5: 18 – 21 NLT
“We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”
As our relationship with God grows over our lifetime, we don’t make a “practice of sinning”. Why not? “God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.” (v. 18) Will we struggle with sin? Yes. We are human. We are not perfect. But God’s Holy Spirit lives within us and helps us to become the people God wants us to be. This is a relationship between a father and child.
When I was a child, my relationship with my dad was a good one. He was fun to be with, although I needed to be careful not to break the rules set in our home. As a teen, I learned lots from him – he was amazing at helping me with my math and science homework. As a university student and young wife, I was quite happy to move away from my home town and dad. But the older I got, the more I appreciated him. My husband and I regularly asked for his advice as we made decisions. His death ripped a huge hole in my life; my mentor was gone.
As a young follower of Christ, I was excited to be part of my church, and all its programs. As a young adult, life was busy. God was there, but in the background a lot. I thought I could figure things out on my own. But as life started dishing out bumps and crises, I started to realize that I needed God’s presence in my life on a daily basis. I needed his guidance and help. He was my Heavenly Father, and I needed his love and forgiveness for all the messes I made. Those verses that end 1 John reinforce my life experience.
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. 21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”
Romans 8 is one of my favourite chapters in the Bible. It also describes this amazing relationship we have with God. To close, here are some of the verses in that chapter to ponder over:
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” (v. 1 – 2)
“But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. … 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”] 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” (v.9 – 17)
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v. 38 – 39)
Our song for today is a well-known older hymn – God Will Take Care of You