For the joy of knowing and experiencing You, thank You, Papa God!
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claim – “to assert in the face of possible contradiction; maintain” (Webster); “contend, allege, assert; syn. announce” (Roget’s)
As John’s letter continues to unfold, he makes reference to a variety of claims that believers are often heard making, Lord. He points out how essential to one’s integrity it is to follow through on those claims that are within His will and to forego the ones which stem from our own foolish pride… They fall generally in these areas…
IF WE * YET WE * THEN WE/HE
• “IF WE claim to have fellowship with Him” — We go around saying we know the Lord, even that we know You intimately
• “YET [WE] walk in the darkness” — Our lives tell a different story than our lips
• “[THEN] WE lie and do not live by the truth” (v 6 NIV) — Our integrity is full of holes.
• “IF WE walk in the light, as He is in the light” — Our lives are in full-view of others; walking without shame, without trying to hide or cover up anything.
• “[THEN] WE have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (v 7 NIV) — Having no hidden sin allows for openness with one another, frees us to accept others and accept the acceptance of others. No sin can be hidden from You, Lord, anyway. When I admit my sins, being open with You (“in the light”), You cleanse, purify me through and through.
• “IF WE claim to be without sin,” — If this were my claim, it would be wise for me to take a look at my hands and feet to see if there are any nail scars there–especially since there’s only been one person in history who could truly make THAT claim.
• “[THEN] WE deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (v 8 NIV) — It would be like a child standing near a demolished birthday cake that had been hidden away for her little sister’s celebration … The child’s face, hands, even clothing bear icing and cake residue. However, when asked, “Did you eat that cake?” the child proudly denies having anything to do with such an idea or action. Now, “paleeese” — that response is about as silly as any of us claiming to have no sin.
• “IF WE confess our sins,” — When I admit to You that my actions, even thoughts that are sin, really ARE sin, that’s a true confession. When I look You in the eye, Papa, swallowing any shred of pride, and say, “Yes, You’re right. I’ve sinned,” I’ve taken the first step … then, it’s Your turn.
• “[YET] HE is faithful and just …” — I can count on You to be Your loyal, constant, trustworthy self, who fairly judges me in all matters and loves me throughout the entire process.
• [THEN HE] will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (v 9 NIV) — Thank You for the clean slate You bring … for nailing to the cross the charges that were against me. Thank You for cleansing my being from all that’s counterfeit and not of You .. for replacing the old mess with Your grace and goodness.
• “IF WE claim to be without sin,” — After seeing the freedom from sin You offer (in v 9), here again the heart can remain too proud to admit its need for You as Savior.
• “[THEN] WE make Him out to be a liar and His Word has no place in our lives.” (v 10 NIV) — All I can picture with this scene is a person yelling at You, claiming at the top of his lungs that he’s not doing ANYthing wrong. The weather is dark, dismal, rainy while the man has been walking along a meagerly traveled city street. After flailing his fist into the air, as if to challenge You to prove him wrong, he stands alone in the rain on the corner near a street lamp. He’s left alone with only his thoughts and the dampened noise of the street as the rain continues to drizzle upon him.
Since Your Word is truth and the Word is Jesus, then Jesus is truth (John 14:6). Lord, let me never get to the point at which Your Word has no place in my life. That would mean that Jesus would have no place. But I want You to have ANY place in my life You desire.
“WHOEVER claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” (2:6 NIV)
“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did.” (2:6 NLT)
“Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” (2:6 MSG)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NIV)
Lord, I’m Yours. Help me to live like it, as You continue to make me just like Jesus. Amen.