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Practice Making Perfect

October 9, 2012

1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. 5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:1-10

John’s introduction soars like a Navy pilot off an aircraft carrier; straight up into the heavens. Yet his focus is earthbound. What he has heard with his own ears, studied closely with his own eyes, and grasped in his own hands, that same experience can be joined in  by us! If we come to know “the eternal life” in this tangible way by the Spirit’s enabling, we enter into a common fellowship with those fortunate enough to have heard and seen “the Word” first hand.

There is joy in sharing this good news, and complete joy in its acceptance. We should all desire to introduce others to the Word of Life, who was and is “the” eternal life.

Actions speak louder than words, so the saying goes. We can claim all day that we are Christians, but do we follow the precepts of the Bible, “the truth? Psalm 119:160 calls the sum of his word “truth” by the way. God is truth.

God is 100 percent light. In him there are no shifting shadows (James 1:17) or hidden places. It’s all out there to see. Is our godliness so unveiled that when we show up we light the place up, or is the bill of our hat tilted so as to shield who we really are? We don’t have a share in him if we do not practice the truth. When under cover in this fashion, despite what we say–spiritual platitudes–we shed no or little light on anybody’s life.

Practicing Christians are admitting all along that they are not perfect, not so much as a convenient cover for consistently bad behavior, but in the midst of obvious obedience to his ways. And when they veer slightly off the path, there is an obvious “kicking of one’s self” before God and man. A practicing Christian can’t live for long in the shadows of sin. God is light.

We “put our money where our mouth is” when we do what we say. The essence of humility is admitting failure without blaming others. When that confession includes the exact chapter and verse violated, it is instructional for all. This is how we can shed our light on God’s truth. But if we habitually lie, or habitually cast blame on our circumstances or our humanity or others, the truth, i.e. the Spirit, really isn’t in us.

Our light is stoked by the fresh kindling of God’s forgiveness. God is love.

16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works , and glorify your Father who is in heaven . Matthew 5:16

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