< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: 1st John 3:19-24

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

1st John 3:19-24

1 John 3:19-24 “This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

What happens when our hearts condemn us – our conscience says we’re not good enough, we’re not showing all the love we should. John says, “God is greater then all these doubts.” He knows all things, not just our sins, but also our love, our longings, even the fact that we would love to be a certain way, but somehow always fall short.

He knows we are sorry. He knows all our dreams and when we struggle. And because of the greatness of His knowledge He not only knows what we did do and is either pleased or forgives it, but He understands what we meant to do and He can sympathize with us.

God knows exactly the way we are and why we are the way we are and He love us anyway! I think we get glimpses of this with our children occasionally; when they’ve done something wrong and because we now them so well and love them so much and we’ve been there too, we almost understand what they meant to do and how sorry they are and how they wish they could be good!

John goes on to say that we are to believe in the name of Jesus Christ. Psalm 124:8 says, “Our help is in the name of the Lord.” Remember in the Bible a name is not just what we call a person, but the whole nature and character of that person. So this means our help isn’t just in the fact that God is called God or Jesus is called Jesus or Lord, it means our help is in the love, the mercy, the power, the compassion, which is His nature and character. “I believe in the name of Jesus” is to believe He is the Son of God. He can perfectly reveal God to us and He is the savior of our souls.

So we are to obey Him and love other people. The Christian life depends on the right belief and the right action.

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