So there is sin. That is our doing, when we are too self-centered to follow God's way.
Salvation. Well, that's God's doing, reaching out through time and space to give us a chance to start again.
Consider now your willfulness. Receive now your salvation.next >
Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.
1 John 3:4-6next >
Your coach tells you to bend your knees. Your music teacher tells you to keep your wrists up. Your composition teacher tells you to stop throwing random commas into your sentences. Everybody wants you to do things a certain way, and sometimes you just want to tell them all to go butt a stump. Perfectly natural feeling. But mostly they want you to improve, and the advice/orders they hand out will help.
Jesus wants you to be a better person — well, really, to be Christ-like in a way that only you can be. “He came to take away sins” — bad habits, poor attitudes, or anything that would hold you back from being like Jesus. You can resist (“lawlessness” or “rebellion”) and just keep doing things the same old way, but then you lose the chance to “abide in him” — to be like Christ in all the ways only you can.
“Abide in him.” Take some extra laps with Jesus — and find out how much more you can be.
Richard Vinsonnext >
Lord, help me to abide in you. Amen.next >
There is no falling that can keep you down forever.
There is no shortcoming that can leave you always in debt.
For God has determined to offer salvation
Every halting step.
Believe, and receive your salvation.
Richard Vinson teaches religion at Salem College, New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte campus), and first-grade Sunday School at Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He and his wife, Diane Lipsett, between them have five sons, one daughter-in-law, a five-year-old grandson, a dog, and two cats.
This Is my Father's World