Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
1 John 2:28-3:10 NIV
God’s Children and Sin
28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. 3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be, has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 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. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
When is it difficult for you to love?
Heavenly Father, You have such great love for me that You call me Your child. I am thankful for Your unfailing love for me. As a parent, I love my children even when they make bad choices that cause them to stumble and fall. I still support them, guide them, teach them and correct them in their failures, but I do not stop loving them. I am protective of my children and grandchildren and would freely sacrifice myself for their safety if needed. I deeply desire for my children and grandchildren to love each other and support each other through life in ways that I can’t. You too want Your children to love, support, and serve each other. Lord, I have to confess that there are people who make it very hard to love them. Those that call evil good, who persecute Your church, who murder the innocent, whose hearts are so dark that their goal is to crush, kill and destroy for their selfish gain. You call me to love even them. Although I cannot accept what these people are doing and saying, I can pray for their souls. Lord give me the strength to pray that they recognize the evil they are doing, that their hearts are touched by Your spirit so that they repent and turn from their evil ways. You came to this earth to destroy the devil’s work. You had a clear vision of our sin when You died on the cross. Out of Your great love, You chose to bring forgiveness and salvation for all people who accept Your free gift of grace. I recognize that I too am a sinner, needing Your forgiveness and grace. For that, I pour out my heart in gratitude. Lord, I ask that You help me to become more like You. Help me to stand up for Your righteousness and hate evil but still open my heart to pray for all people to accept Your love and mercy. Let my response be an example of Your love to all of Your children. Amen