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Daily Reading: 1 John 3

Scripture Focus: By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3.10)

Devotional Thought: John, in this letter, has made much of the distinction between true and counterfeit believers. This distinction is a matter of life and death, for as Jesus warns us in Matthew 7, some will hear, “Depart, I never knew you,” (v.23). This is a sobering thought for any believer, and we should inspect our own hearts and motives.

John gives us practical ways to do this, but not a fail-proof methodology. There will be counterfeits who look like they are practicing righteousness, but their hearts are far from God. However, from this text, here are some questions that may help us with our self-examination:

Do we see the Father’s love for us? (v.1-3). The world does not understand this love because it does not know him. It is the unique privilege of the believer to receive spiritual understanding, through the work of the Spirit in their hearts.

Do we make a practice of sinning? (v.4-10). The question is not “do we ever sin,” but rather “do we make a practice of sinning?” Do we make the sin in our life comfortable and settle into it? Or, do we acknowledge our sin with repentance, striving towards righteousness?

Do we love one another? (v.11-24). We must believe in Jesus and love one another, as he has commanded us. Whoever practices genuine, Christ-like, self-sacrificing love abides in God, and God in him (v.24). This love is supernatural and can only occur through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to all who believe.

The Lord knows our hearts… may we ask him to reveal any grievous way in us and lead us in the way everlasting!


Prayer: Lord, save us from relying on our own good works to obtain righteousness. We know that we can never be close to you without the saving blood of Jesus. Give us the faith to trust in you alone for salvation.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 129.1-4

“Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth”—

let Israel now say—

2 “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth,

yet they have not prevailed against me.

3 The plowers plowed upon my back;

they made long their furrows.”

4 The Lord is righteous;

he has cut the cords of the wicked.

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