Let Love Lead
… In Our Walk with God – Part III
Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:11-18
Key Verse: 1 John 4:16
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
We ended yesterday’s devotional with 1 John 2:1.This verse lets us know that when we sin, we have an advocate in Christ Jesus.
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous. (1 John 2:1)
There are different ways that people may misunderstand this verse. Some people might take it as license to sin all they want to because Jesus is advocating for them. Others might not realize the essence of what it means for them.
I hope you are a person who never abuses God’s grace and that you feel terrible when you sin against Him. If you are, please understand that as one of God’s children, He loves you even when you fail Him… no matter how miserable that failure may be or how you feel about it.
Do not forget how the Apostle Peter failed Jesus by cursing and swearing that he never knew Him. Also, never forget how terrible Peter felt about his failure; he left the place and wept.
It always thrills me to read what an angel told the women who went to the tomb to prepare Jesus’s body for burial:
Now go tell His disciples and Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died. (Mark 16:7)
Why did the angel use Peter’s name but none of the other disciple’s names? Because God knew how terrible Peter was feeling and He wanted to make sure that Peter understood His love for him, even though Peter failed miserably.
How do we let love lead in our relationship with God? We refuse to constantly beat ourselves up for our failures. Discipline your mind to praise God for His loving forgiveness. Of course, a true Christ-follower always feels bad about losing their self-control and sinning, but we must not dwell on our failure and we must not let the devil shame us.
When I cave to a temptation, I repent quickly and say a prayer of praise to Jesus for being my advocate.
The evil one is always trying to lead us into temptation and pushing us to give in to the temptation of shaming ourselves when we fail. Then, if we cave to it, he pours on the shame and guilt, lying about how God feels about us. But Jesus, as our advocate, speaks up and supports us.
This is when we must decide who we believe. Do we believe the “father of lies” or the Word of God? It sounds like an easy choice, doesn’t it? But the truth is, our human nature makes it hard to believe that God can love us when we fail Him.
Join me in making every effort to resist the devil’s lies and trust in the unfailing love of God. Jesus always speaks up for you and supports you… you can count on it!
Father, I praise You for Your love and mercy. Jesus, thank You for your support, even in the face of my failure. Holy Spirit, help me to remember these facts. Amen.