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Prepared Children

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know him. 1 John 3:1 NLT


Read 1 John 2:28-3:10


It's likely in a high school literature class, you were introduced to the poetry of E.E. Cummings (often shown as e.e. cummings). One of the distinctive things about his poetry is the Modernist style (1890-1950) in which it was written. Typical of the style was experimentation with syntax, form, and imagery. Here's a brief excerpt from his poem "anyone lived in a pretty how town" that will give you an idea.


anyone lived in a pretty how town

(with up so floating many bells down)

spring summer autumn winter

he sang his didn't he danced his did.


When we read the Bible, it's essential to realize that, like Cummings's poetry, the text initially lacked capitalization and punctuation, nor was it broken into chapters, verses, and section headers. These were added later (1551 CE) to help organize the text for easier reading. But to understand the full context of a single verse, it's essential to always read around it. 


For example, in looking at the verse for today, we should look at the previous two verses. 


And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God's children. (1 John 2:28-29)


The purpose of this passage is not solely about us being God's children, which we are, nor the fact that the world doesn't recognize us as children because they don't recognize the Father. In a broader context, the entire passage (2:28-3:10) is about us being prepared for Christ's return. As Jesus came to take away our sins and make us pure, our commitment is to remain pure and live righteously. 


The author doesn't mince words; there is a clear distinction between sin and righteousness. There can be no gray area between sin and righteousness. People who live happily in sin are in the devil's camp, but those who try not to sin–though we sometimes slip–are children of God. 


We don't know when Christ will return. It could be while you're reading this devotion or sometime in the distant future after we've passed this earthly realm. We know with certainty that we are to live as children of God in preparation for that day, whenever it might come. We are to reject evil, something we are equipped to do because the power of God is greater than that of the devil, and live each day as the pure and transformed people we have become through Christ. 


Heavenly Father, we come before You, grateful for the love You have lavished upon us, that we should be called Your children. As we abide in You, may we carry the hope of Christ's return with purity and righteousness. 


Lord, help us to remain steadfast in Your truth, knowing that when Jesus appears, we may stand confident and unashamed before Him. Guide us to do what is right, as we have been born of Your righteousness.


May Your Spirit empower us not to be led astray and live free from sin's bondage, reflecting Your light in a world that does not know You. For in Christ, there is no sin, and through Him, the works of the devil are destroyed.


Teach us to love our brothers and sisters genuinely, to practice righteousness, and to be true children of God, distinguishing ourselves from the ways of the world.


We thank You for the promise that when Christ is revealed, we shall be like Him and see Him as He is. Until that day, keep us in Your grace.


In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


blessings

pastor tim




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