Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday, February 11 ~ by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 29, 30, Psalm 29, Mark 1
Today's scripture focus is 1 John 2:29

If you know that He is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him. (ESV)

God calls us to live as examples. We were created in His image, we are to live as He instructed. Yet, we fail...again ... and again ... and again. We desire to be like Christ to mirror His righteousness and yet it impossible without Grace and forgiveness. I could identify this part of MacArthur's sermon:

I always think of the story when I was a kid, crazy story but I did crazy things as a kid. When the teacher left the room when I was a kid, I often felt it was my opportunity to take over the class for no good reason. And I remember one time I happened to be jumping from desk to desk and failed to hear the orthopaedic wedges coming back toward the door, you know. All of a sudden the door is thrown open and she comes in and I'm in mid-flight. Anticipation of the coming of someone who has authority has a marked influence on how we conduct ourselves. Don't you know? Like the way you drive when there isn't a policeman around, and the way you drive when you think there might be one around the next corner. The Lord understands the powerful motivation of living in the light of the imminent revealing and appearing of Jesus Christ. All of that to take us to the text.
By nature, I am not a speedy driver but I have to admit that the first thing I do when I see a police car as I drive to school (which is often weekly) the very first thing I do is to check my speedometer. I am more aware of my teaching practice when my Principal enters my room during a lesson. My classroom looked better than ever on the day our Education Minister came for a visit to our school. We adjust our attitudes and our environment when we are in the presence of authority.

Shouldn't God be deserving of our best behaviour and attitude too??

The reality is that no one knows when Jesus will return. We don't know when we just know that He is going to come. We don't know when we need to be on our best behaviour because in reality, we are supposed to live in His righteous at all times.

So our hope is secured by remaining faithful. That is the means by which God secures us, by means of our preservation. It is by faith as the means that He saves us. It is by faith and obedience as the means that He sanctifies us. It is by perseverance and endurance as the means by which He secures us. And being secure and abiding, we will have confidence and not shrink from Him in shame at His coming. Those who abide have a kind of fearless trust.....
...Secondly, it is manifest by is manifest by righteousness and this is in verse 29. "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him." Now our future hope begins to take on some behavioral impact. The people who really have this hope, the people who abide will not only be blameless at the time of His appearing and stand before Him confidently and not shrink away from Him in shame, but they are here manifesting righteousness because those who have this hope have this hope because they've been born of God. Wonderful, wonderful reality of new birth, regeneration. This, of course, unmasks the phonies again, doesn't it? John does this so well. People who claim to be, "Oh yes, I'm waiting for Jesus to come...Oh yes." And you look at their life and there's no righteousness there, there's no love of righteousness, hatred of sin. So this unmasks the phonies who claim to have Christian hope and have absolutely no right to it. It is a hope that belongs to those who manifest righteousness.
 If you know He's righteous, you know that everyone practices, present-indicative pattern, the pattern of their life, not perfection, but direction...pattern of life. If you know that He is righteous, that is He is without sin, without error, He is just, He is free from evil. Psalm 11, "The Lord is righteous. He loves righteous deeds." Great verse. If you know that He is righteous, you know that anyone who has been born of Him, past completed action with present continuing results, anyone who has been born of Him is going to manifest righteousness. And you're back to this same thing again that a believer is known not by what they claim but by how they live.

Our hope is secured by remaining faithful and a believer is known not by what they claim but by how they live. Powerful words.

You would be reluctant to believe a fitness trainer that told you to diet and exercise while smoking and eating junk food. Their lives are reflective of their beliefs and if they don't model the behaviours that they endorse it affects their credibility. Our lives are the reflection of our beliefs and our actions (which should be as if we are under the power of authority!) can help bring others to a saving eternity or turn them off by our hypocrisy. Are we "walking the walk" and "talking the talk" or is it hard to see God's influence on our actions? Is it easy to see who we are reflecting? When Jesus arrives (and we know he will) what will He walk in to find??

Tomorrow's scripture focus1 John 3:1
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Exodus 35-36, Psalm 31 , Mark 3


Miriam said...

Thanks, Pam, great post!

LaughingLady said...

Belief determines action, no way around it. That's one reason I have a love/hate relationship with having an online persona ~ I never know how well that "person" matches who I really am in real life.

(It's so funny that you mention fitness instructors, because the few times I've been involved with a gym, I found I immediately, instinctively singled out the pudgy instructors and made a point to steer clear of them! I never asked for their assistance in any way and certainly NEVER enrolled in their classes!!)

TammyIsBlessed said...

Great post Pam.

So true that we behave differently when people of authority are around. We are so quick to forget that even though we can't literally see Him with our eyes, God is always present and sees everything we do.

And so true that our actions reflect what we really believe.