1 John 2:4-6
4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
Maybe this is a bit of a stretch but as I read these verses, I couldn't help but think about the multiple indoor recesses we had last week. All of them, actually. We were inside 15 out of 15 recesses. I teach grade 1 and (seemingly unending) indoor recess drives us all (teachers and students!) a little crazy. It doesn't take long before rules get broken.
We have some rules in our classroom:
Now I realize we are talking about 6 year olds...but how quickly do we forget our rules as well. Do we really know what God expects? Haven't we been reminded about what we should be doing? Do we just choose not to follow these commandments even though we know we should?
How do we show that we know the rules?
Now with those words John sums up this very important behavioral test. First the test is stated...the test is stated in verse 3, "By this we know we've come to know Him if we keep His commandments...if we keep His commandments." Last time I told you there are three elements to assurance. There is an element of assurance in saving faith itself. Then there is the internal witness of the Holy Spirit who witnesses with us that we are the children of God. But here the third and most important verification of your salvation is manifest in your life by obedience...by obedience.
Obedience. When we obey we show that we understand. Again, I know we are not six year olds and that following the rules at recess is not the same as manifesting our salvation by obedience, but I think there are certainly parallels between the two situations. Maybe sometimes (ok often!) I do act like a six year old when I know what God expects of me and I know what the Bible says I should be doing but yet I choose not to. Instead, like a defiant child, I chose to do my own thing. This makes me a liar.
A. Liar. - ouch!
And yet how easy it is to chase after a friend who took the toy you were playing with ... or that push and shove to get it back?? or when you get so excited for your next turn on the smartboard that you just jump on with the 2 others who are using it ... after all everyone's doing it, and not just you, right? My students know the rules, I know they do, but it's so easy to become distracted and "forget" what they are in the midst of everything else going on.
We are called to live as Jesus did. My students are called to follow classroom rules. It's just not possible all the time to have perfect obedience...for them or for us. We will fail. My students will fail. And yet there is forgiveness. Consequences too...but forgiveness and a chance to get better. Hallelujah for that....and for some outdoor recess this week, ;)
Tomorrow's scripture focus: 1 John 2:7-11