~ Even though we may wonder and struggle at times as our hearts writhe in pain, we are His children. And we know He loves us. We know this is absolutely true. So, knowing all this, do you take Him seriously? Do you wear His name tag only on your outer garment or do you pin it to the inside of your heart?
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.
~ Wow. There is a lot going on in that verse.
1. We are children of God. Indeed this is true.
2. When Christ is openly revealed--uh, you mean when I wipe my own fog off of the window and I clearly see me in the way God sees me? Then, that is when I will see Him?
3. Okay, now things are looking clearer, I realize I have some smudges and held-onto sins that I need to hand over to Christ. I cannot fathom being pure as Jesus, but I want to set my sights on glistening, just a little bit. For Him.
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 backward.
~ Once I met the Lord and begged Him to reside in my heart, I still continued to disrupt His order. I mean really, did I need to tell Him of my past? My whole past?
Even the stuff I stuffed deep down?
Oh yeah. I did. I mean He showed me that my selfish sin of unforgiveness has no part in His program. He forgave me. Yeah, I had heard about that. But what I hadn't grasped was that my holding onto my selfish unforgiveness was a sin. It was as if I had my reflection in Him all backwards. For in Him, I was wholly forgiven.
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.
~ Diverted from the Truth. Yeah, the world doesn't understand how God could forgive a wretch like me (and like them), but He did! I was acting right for the world to see, but my whole heart wasn't right. Not until I fell to my face and asked for forgiveness. It is true, I asked for forgiveness that was already mine. I pleaded with Him to give it to me. Once I felt certain I had it, then I was able to ask Him to help me forgive my very own selfish self.
That was the hardest part. Not only wiping off the window fog, but wiping off the gooey unforgiveness. I had to step back into the shower and run the waters of purity and lather up with His love, all before I could face myself in the mirror again.
And then ya know what I did? I burned the towel that rubbed me raw with the enemy's ways. Afterward, when I bent down to blow the ashes away, they were white as snow.
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.
~ So, now I try not to make a practice of sin. I try really hard. I bet you do too. It is challenging enough to keep the day-to-day strife at bay, but when you add in selfish-sins, it becomes near impossible to practice righteousness. And it oftentimes entangles you in such a way that you keep falling upon and injuring your brothers and sisters in Christ. Did I fail the simple test? Or did I pass it?
For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other.
~ And in loving each other, we must love our very own selfish selves enough to look upon our reflections in the same way that God does...we are children of God! He loves us, even the sin-smudged parts.
What are you waiting for? Step into the shower so you can glisten with His droplets of purity and forgiveness.