Good Life Journal - 1 John 3
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness-sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning. No one who keeps on sinning has (neither) seen Him or (has) known Him.
Little children: Let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous (as He is righteous). Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil (for the devil has been sinning from the beginning). The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning for God's seed abides in him-and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God AND who are the children of the devil: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God nor is the one who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:4-10.
I notice that this passage has a lot to do with addressing practice. Did you notice that the word "practice" or the idea of practice appears eight times in this short passage? Maybe practice is important?
Practice. Do I really need to practice?
One of the things that come to my mind is conducting Little League practice. Playing is much better than practicing but I know that practice makes playing so much more enjoyable. All my children and players would probably agree: if as a coach I could just "mind meld" skills instead of having to really practice skills would be much better.
Doesn't work that way. But does it work that way in being a Christian? "Ancient practioners in Christian Discipline would say "No"." (if anyone who watches Ancient Aliens on History Channel should chuckle here)
Please note the difference in being Justified by faith and the road of Sanctification: These are two different Christian Doctrines. This is about Sanctification and the practice of Christianity.
Practice can be challenging. It can also be dull. Boring. Not very rewarding. Thinking about just a few days ago in 2 Pet 1:5-8, Peter gives a list of objectives starting with "virtue" and adding more as we go along. It ends in "if you practice these qualities you will never fall." (v10)
Later Peter ends this letter with "Be diligent to be found in Him without spot or blemish. " (2 Pet 3:14) The point is that pursuit of godliness is vitally important and has more than a little emphasis in the Word of God. Rolling up the sleeves of effort and diligence is Biblical.
What is my response? Guess I need to go to practice more so that I can perform well in the game.
Father. I always have to be reminded how important the Pursuit of Godliness is. It is so very easy to get sidetracked. It is so easy to substitute action-even if it is "church" action. Spirit: Please remind me daily to put my nose to the grindstone; to see You and Your Grace new every day; to make it my aim to please You in every respect-not for acceptance, but because of the love for You that You are multiplying in my soul daily. AMEN. P.S.: Help me not be afraid of doctrine or theology. AMEN again.