12/17/18 A Child of God

READING: 1 John 1-5; 2 John; 3 John 

“This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands.”

1 John 2:3

I’m afraid that when I first heard the gospel, I heard, “Follow Jesus, and you won’t go to hell.” Then, I later also heard these words: “If you’ve made a profession of faith, you have eternal security. You will not go to hell.” I honestly don’t remember if those who taught me said the latter phrases that way, but that’s very much the way I heard them. As long as I had gone through the required actions to get saved, I was just glad I was secure.

Looking back, I’m convinced that my decision to follow Christ was a genuine one. I did fear hell, but I also just sensed that I was supposed to become a Christian. Something (actually, Someone) bigger than I was guiding the way even if I didn’t understand it all. It was, however, years later before I read enough of the Bible to know that God requires us to live differently as Christians. We do not live perfect lives, but nor are we to live inconsistent, ongoing, unfaithful lives. Instead, we are to walk in Him: “This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands” (1 John 2:3). In fact, “the one who says, ‘I have come to know him,’ and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).

Those latter words are potent ones. At the risk of stating the case in an unclear way, if I claim to be a follower of Jesus but don’t really follow Jesus, I’m not His follower in the first place. Following Jesus means living like Jesus.    


  • If I watch your life daily, would I know you are a follower of Jesus? If not, what needs to change?  
  • Thank God for the clarity and power of His Word.

PRAYER: “God, help me to walk with Jesus every moment.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: Revelation 1-5

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