Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 3:23-24.

“This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.  The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.  We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”  1 John 3:23-24.

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We may be commanded to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, but it is God’s work that we are able to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.

“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:28-29.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”  John 1:12-13.

We may be commanded to love another, but it is God’s work that we are able to love one another.

“We love, because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:19.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, …”  Galatians 5:22.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;  and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”  1 John 4:7.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21.

“…  We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”  Verse 23.

“By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”  1 John 4:13. 

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  John 14:16-18.

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14.

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”  2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba!  Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”  Romans 8:15-16.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 3:18-22.

“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.  We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us;  for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.  Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;  and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.”  1 John 3:18-22.  

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How can we have confidence that we will “love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth”?!

How can we have confidence that we will “keep His commandments”?!

How can we have confidence that we will “do the things that are pleasing in His sight”?!

“3 For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
4 Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:3-5.

But, there is hope!

Our hope is not in ourselves to just try harder.

Our hope is in what God has done for us.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did:  sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”  Romans 8:1-4. 

“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.  And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us;  for after saying,

“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,
AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS
I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;  and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:14-25.

“Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.  If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”  1 John 2:28-29.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”  John 15:7.

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”  Hebrews 13:20-21.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 3:11-17.

“For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;  not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother.  And for what reason did he slay him?  Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.

Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.  He who does not love abides in death.  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer;  and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.  We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;  and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”   1 John 3:11-17.

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“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do what I command you.”  John 15:12-13. 

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own;  but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”  John 15:18-19.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;  and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”  1 John 4:7-8.

“If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;  but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.”  Deuteronomy 15:7-8.

“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”  James 2:15-17.

This is tough Scripture for me.  It is so easy for me to justify my love to others.  But, my love falls far short of what it should be.

“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9.

But, there is hope!

“23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24.

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

“He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3.

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ”  1 John 4:9-10.

“We love, because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:19.

“By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”  1 John 14:13. 

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, …”  Galatians 5:22.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;  and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.”  Ephesians 3:14-20.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 3:4-10.

“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness;  and sin is lawlessness.  You know that He appeared in order to take away sins;  and in Him there is no sin.  No one who abides in Him sins;  no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.  Little children, make sure no one deceives you;  the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;  the one who practices sin is of the devil;  for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.  No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him;  and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious:  anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.”  1 John 3:4-10.

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Why would John state in today’s Scripture:  “No one who abides in Him sins, …” (Verse 6)?  

This question particularly arises, because we remember that strong statement of John just two chapters earlier:  “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”  1 John 1:8-10.

But, it is not unusual for Scripture to classify and contrast. 

For example, we see this throughout the Book of Proverbs in which the righteous are contrasted with the wicked.  We understand that the righteous do not always act in the way that the righteous are described nor the wicked always act in the way the wicked described.  

Such contrasts are helpful to understand practices.  Using an analogy, we say that a doctor practices medicine or a lawyer practices law.  It does not necessarily mean that their every action is to practice medicine or law.  But, we understand that what they do normally flows from who they are.  

In today’s Scripture, we see the contrast between “the children of God and the children of the devil” in verse 10.  We understand that the “the children of God and the children of the devil” do not always act in the way described, but that is their normal practices.  “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness;  and sin is lawlessness.”  Verse 4.  “Little children, make sure no one deceives you;  the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;  the one who practices sin is of the devil;  for the devil has sinned from the beginning.”  Verse 7.  “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him;  and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”  Verse 9.  

Likewise, although we read that we are “freed from sin”, we are still exhorted to “not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness;  but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”  See Romans chapter 6.

We remember the hope provided by the following Scriptures.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:3-6.

“… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;  but that she would be holy and blameless.”  Ephesians 5:25-27.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

But, today’s Scripture provides additional hope based on our standing of who we are, namely, born of God:  “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”  John 1:13.

“No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him;  and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”  Verse 9.

“for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”  1 Peter 1:23.

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  John 3:3.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;  and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”  1 John 4:7.

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.”  1 John 5:1. 

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;  and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”  1 John 5:4.

“We know that no one who is born of God sins;  but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”  1 John 5:18. 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:3-5.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 3:1-3.

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God;  and such we are.  For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.  We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.  And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”  1 John 3:1-3.

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This is not a strange concept.

Parents love it when their children look like them, and children love it when they look like their parents.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27.

“As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.” Psalm 17:15.

“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:5-6.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”  John 1:12-13.

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:29-30.

“But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?”  2 Corinthians 3:7-8. 

“Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away.”  2 Corinthians 3:12-13. 

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:17-18.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith …” Hebrews 12:2.

“and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Ephesians 4:24.

“but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:15-16.

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48.

“… I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” Exodus 31:12.

“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 2:25-29.

This is the promise which He Himself made to us:  eternal life.

These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.  As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you;  but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.  If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”  1 John 2:25-29.

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First of all, we need to know that we receive eternal life as a gift of God.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23.

We may too quickly dismiss that thought as too elementary.  But, when we later consider righteousness, we may be tempted to leave that thought that eternal life is a gift of God to think that we need to obtain and prove our own righteousness through our own works or at least through our own will.

“Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” Verse 28.

In other words, abide in the teaching that eternal life and all the saving gifts that lead to eternal life such as faith and righteousness come to us as gifts of God.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9.  

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

“For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16. 

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in which for “all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father;  that he (Christ) should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death”.  

Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death;  should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing;  and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.  SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby.

“For who regards you as superior?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  1 Corinthians 4:7.

“For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise;  but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.”  Galatians 3:18.

“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”  Galatians 3:29.

“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,”  Titus 1:1-2.

“And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.”  Galatians 4:28.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 2:18-24.

“Children, it is the last hour;  and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared;  from this we know that it is the last hour.  They went out from us, but they were not really of us;  for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us;  but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.  But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.  I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.  Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?  This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.  Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father;  the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.  As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.  If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”  1 John 2:18-24.

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We abide in the truth (the truth of God’s Word and The Truth personified in Jesus Christ) through the Holy Spirit.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”  John 14:16-17.

“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”  John 15:26-27.

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;  and He will disclose to you what is to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”  John 16:13-14.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”  John 14:26. 

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”  2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

“In Him (Christ), you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 2:15-17.

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  The world is passing away, and also its lusts;  but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”  1 John 2:15-17.

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“Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”  Romans 13:13-14.

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.  For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.”  Colossians 3:1-7.

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God;  for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”  Romans 8:5-8.

But, there is hope!

“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  Romans 8:9-11.  

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

“… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;  but that she would be holy and blameless.”  Ephesians 5:25-27. 

“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”  Hebrews 10:14.

“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;  for he who has died is freed from sin.”  Romans 6:4-7.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;  for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:  immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:16-24.

“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die;  but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba!  Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”  Romans 8:12-17.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.”  Jude 1:24-25.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 2:12-14.

“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.  I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.  I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.  I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning.  I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”  1 John 2:12-14.

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“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;   in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Ephesians 6:10-17.

The language above, “having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE”, reminds of the following Scripture and that in overcoming the evil one, we do not withdraw into a bunker, so to speak, “with a little book in a corner”.  We love others and go forth and bring them good news of salvation from God.  “Your God reigns!”  

“How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7.

“The LORD has bared His holy arm
In the sight of all the nations,
That all the ends of the earth may see
The salvation of our God.” Isaiah 52:10

Today’s devotion comes from 1 John 2:7-11.

“Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning;  the old commandment is the word which you have heard.  On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.  The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.  The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”  1 John 2:7-11.

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“For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;”  1 John 3:11. 

“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”  Galatians 5:14.

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.  He who does not love abides in death.”  1 John 3:14.

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?  Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”  1 John 3:17-18.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;  and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time;  if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.”  1 John 4:7-12.   

But, there is hope!

“By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”  1 John 4:13. 

“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.  God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”  1 John 4:16.

“We love, because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:19. 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love … against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22.

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