Daily email Number 326 – from the Vicar

Today’s passage, 1 John Chapter 3 verses 1 to 10, has great contrasts of wonderful encouragements but also deep challenges.And as I read it I can think of at least 3 more modern worship songs that use words from this passage (Answers on a postcard to…!).
And what a way to start in verse 1.  ‘How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,that we should be called children of God!'”Lavished” is such a descriptive word, meaning generous or extravagant or simply just pouring out loads and loads and loads!  And that is what God’s love is like to us, which results in us being called children of God, being part of His family, and with Him as our Father, one who loves and cares for us perfectly.  And part of the Christian hope is that one day we will be like Him (v.2), pure and holy and perfect.
But the challenge in the rest of the passage concerns our behaviour, and that if we are seeking to follow the Lord, to claim that we know Him, that we should stop sinning, because sin and the Lord are just incompatible.  Sin comes from the devil, he is the originator of it all, and part of Jesus’, the Son of God, mission is to destroy the devil’s work (v.8).
Now on first reading you might wonder whether John the writer is requiring sinless perfection, but then we remember what we have already seen at the end of Chapter 1 and the beginning of Chapter 2, that we remain sinners.  However, the challenge is that when we come to faith, we shouldn’t see continuing to sin as an okay lifestyle, as an easy way out, but that we have a real desire to be continually changed by the Spirit to be more pure and righteous.Is that you and me?

In our prayers let us pray for the other 2 of our overseas connections, both in countries which are experiencing great unrest – 
Our link student, recently finished his studying in Myanmar, and now back with his home church; Frank and Val in Nazareth – I’ve had a recent email from the Nazareth Trust, which I will be sharing this evening.

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