1 John 3:7-9:
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
“Whoever has been born of God does not sin”. The passage above and specifically verse 9 have always been a challenge for me to grasp. I’m a born-again, Holy Spirit filled Christian and yet, I am not perfect. I still make mistakes. On occasion, I still step outside God’s best for me and afterwards feel I must repent and pray asking for forgiveness. Verse 9 seems to expect Christian perfection.
I am comforted by a couple phrases that are in the passage. First notice; “He who practices righteousness is righteous”. In other words, righteousness is something we practice and so get better at during our lives. We grow in our maturity as Christians. Second notice; “For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested”. Per, Webster; for something to be manifest means: 1. To be readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight, and 2. Easily understood or recognized by the mind.
And so, the 1 John passage which at first glance demands perfection, upon meditation prescribes the path to spiritual maturity desired by all Christians. And what is that path? For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. The works of the devil in the life of a Christians are destroyed as we perceive, understand and recognize Jesus in your mind.
One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.
We must desire one thing above all else; “to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple”. Such beholding, such inquiring is still very much available to you and I this day. This available heavenly access is what Jesus bought and paid for us when He died on the cross and rose again.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God … let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Yes, I believe the Bible is literally true. I believe and have experienced that there is a throne of grace and that I can approach it for mercy, grace and help in time of need.
There is a battle going on in your mind. Like a puppy looking for something to chew, your mind and imagination craves for something to crew upon. This is how God made human beings. We are meant to have an active, creative imagination. Give your mind and imagination Godly things to chew upon. Take the offensive in the battle for your mind.
The word ‘sanctify’ means to set aside for a Godly purpose. Sanctify your mind and imagination to God. Set aside time every day to picture and imagine God and heaven in your mind. You’ll be amazed at what begins to happen.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you! Imagine a picture of heaven and God will give you a bigger picture. Imagine a picture of a Godly, blessed life and God will give you a bigger picture.
How do I know that I’m seeing heaven in my mind and imagination? It is because God continually shows me things beyond my imagination. I take the first small step. God continues with leaps and bounds!