Abiding Love

Our dog, Jack, has matured into a — most of the time — obedient dog. Once in a while he slips back into his former nature which is barking and snarling at would be assailants. Such was the case earlier this week. There we were enjoying a gentle stroll around the neighborhood when another dog comes on the scene. This other dog is also on a leash. He is on the other side of the road. He is minding his own business of sniffing pursuits. What does Jack do? He turns into the hound of the baskervilles!

I have a good grip on the leash as I command him to, “stop Jack!” We walk on. The incident is over but not really. A now contrite Jack peeks back at me over his shoulder. He knows his transgression. His eyes speak volumes — Everything okay? I keep my face stern. He walks on and looks back again — Everything okay? I smile then, pet him, and assure him, “I love you, Jack.” He lifts his head and walks on happily, safe in the assurance of my love for him.

Aren’t we the same in our walks with God? Perhaps you have been working on a personal weakness, a stance against some temptation. You’ve matured into an obedient Christ follower — most of the time — but the dreaded moments come when you succumb to something you never wanted to do or think or say again. You walk on but gingerly peek at God — Everything okay? Someone else enters the scene. His name is Demon. He speaks lies. He tells you that God is not pleased with you; therefore, His love has diminished. You hang your head as you consider the lie. You are disgusted with yourself. Your reasoning tells you, if you’re repulsed by your own actions, your Heavenly Father must be ready to give up entirely.

Perhaps you sink into despair that goes from a day to a week to a month or more. The assault of demon lies never cease. You can’t breathe in peace anymore. It’s gone! But wait! Once more you peek at God. You hear Him say, “If you confess your sin, I’ll forgive you. I’ll wash you all over. I’ll make you clean again.”* His words are tender and loving. You know they are true. You receive it. A burden floats away. Peace comes again. You lift your head and walk on happily, safe in the assurance of Father’s love for you.

*(I John 1:9 – paraphrase mine)

3 Comments on “Abiding Love

  1. 1john1 is an evangelistic sermon addressed to a cult called the gnostics who believed that Jesus was only spiritual not physical and that they could not sin.John was describing how he was able to touch and speak to Jesus convincing them that Jesus was physical.
    He then evangelises that if the Gnostics would confess their sins then they would be saved and could have fellowship with them.There is no reference to repeatedly
    Confessing your sins as Jesus took all our sins once and for all on the cross. 1john1 introduction is completely the opposite to the start of chapter two addressed to “my little children ”
    Hope you are able to check this out and I will be interested to know how you feel about it.

    • HI Roger, I have looked further into 1 John with great interest. Thank you again for writing and for reading my blogs! As you will already know, the author of 1 John is unsure but historical documents suggest it is John just as he wrote the next two letters. Not relevant to your observations but interesting. I can find nothing to substantiate that the letter is written directly to gnostics. All three letters are written to warn the church to beware of such, to be cautious of false teaching. However, if it was written specifically to gnostics, then I see your point that 1 John would be pointing to salvation rather than daily cleansing. I do believe daily cleansing is necessary because we still sin. While we cannot lose our salvation because we are sealed unto the day of redemption, we can lose intimate fellowship with our Heavenly Father when we do not confess our sins. It seems to me that Jesus Himself adhered to this thought when He taught His followers what we call The Lord’s Prayer. When He said to pray, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” it seems to me this was to be a daily practice. Also, Jesus’ washing His disciples feet comes to mind. Peter was aghast at the thought but Jesus said if He didn’t wash Peter’s feet it meant Peter had no part of Him. Peter, getting carried away as he was prone to do then said, “then wash all of me.” Jesus explained that Peter didn’t need washing all over, just his feet. To me, this signifies that once we receive salvation, we are washed all over, but because we still sin, we need to daily wash our feet. Again, I do accept that possibly 1 John 9 was meant to lead the unbelievers to initial salvation. However, for me, that verse always comes to mind as the Holy Spirit prompts me to repent when I have done something, thought something, said something that is sinful. So, those are my thoughts. Thanks, Roger, for making me think. I love delving in. Please give my warm greetings to Vicky. Merry Christmas to you both.

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