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The blood of Jesus, [God’s] Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:7-9
What does a Healthy Relationship with God look like?
Preceding the verses selected for today’s devotion, the apostle John described the perfection of God as being pure light. He is almighty, all-knowing and present everywhere. He never lies, is never wrong, is always fair and good, loving and kind. He is holy—without sin. He is light. But then John presents us with this scenario: If you claim to be closely connected with the God of light but your life is characterized by things that are dark, sinful and evil, like lust and lying, like greed and gossip, like complaining or being disrespectful, like not caring about how your words and actions affect the people around you, then your claim to be closely connected with God is a lie. John’s point is that when you are in fellowship with the Lord through faith in Jesus, carelessly continuing in sin is not an option. When you know and trust that Jesus’ precious blood has purified you from all sin, it’s a plain fact that your life will show it.
Let’s use today as an example. If there’s nothing more important than having a healthy relationship with the Lord, and there’s no darkness in him at all (which includes the fact that he knows everything about you), with what words do you come before the Lord today? Do you acknowledge that you came into this world as someone whom God should hate and destroy for all eternity? Do you admit and own up to every sinful thing you’ve done? Or do you echo the words of the disciples the night before Jesus died on the cross: “Surely not I, Lord!” I break the First Commandment daily? I fail to put God first in all things? You’re telling me that I have despised God’s Word just because there are books in the Bible that I know nothing about? I’m a murderer just because I can’t stand certain people? I’m an adulterer just because I’ve thought about certain sinful actions? Surely not I, Lord!” God says you’re filled with sin. If you feel that you’re not and you can come up with excuses for everything, then you’re calling God a liar. You can’t have a healthy relationship with God if he says you’re sinful and you say you’re not.
The wonder of wonders is that when you admit to him that you are sinful (that’s repentance), he says you’re forgiven. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God dealt with your sins once and for all when he made Jesus guilty of them and cursed Jesus for them on the cross. Whenever you tell God the truth about your sins, he tells you the truth about what he did with them. He took them off you and laid them on Christ. Hell and death came to Jesus; heaven and life have come to you, for “the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sins.”
When our relationship with God is like this, we don’t try to hide the truth from him and he never keeps the truth from us. We are sinners and we say so, but he has forgiven us, and he says so, without fail, time and time again. That’s a healthy relationship with God.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal - 304):
I, a sinner, come to you with a penitent confession.
Savior, show me mercy, too; grant for all my sins remission.
Let these words my soul relieve—Jesus sinners does receive.
Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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