~So I had an extra burst of energy tonight and was able to study through another chapter.
Chapter 3:1-3 Children of God
We are blessed to have such a great title given to us when we come to know the Lord. We become children of God. What a comfort that is in itself. For the people who do not have a personal relationship with Him they can not understand what this feels like. Peter states this truth in the passage of Acts 5:29-32. In verse 3 it talks about purifying ourselves so that we will be pure like Christ. The is also call sanctification. As Christians we should be constantly growing closer to the Lord. By us doing this He will continue to make us more complete in Him till the day He returns.
Chapter 3: 4-10
The word "lawlessness" in vs 4 is another term for antinomianism. Yeah I know big, crazy word. This is another form of the Gnostic teachings if I understood correctly. They believed that there were certain people who were not subject to the moral law. I guess they thought that they could live in sin and not have the consequences for it. If we are Christians we shouldn't have sin be a main characteristic of our lives since it was not that way in Christ's life.
These verses speak on how we should love one another. The example of Cain and Able is listed because it portrays the perfect setting of how a brother who had hatred in his heart was willing to murder his brother who was seen a man who was righteous. In verse 15 when it says that a murder doesn't have eternal life within him, this doesn't mean that murder is an unforgivable sin. Our God forgives if we repent. John is just making the point that if there is hatred in our hearts than how can we say we are a child of God.
These verses really stuck out to me cause it talks about the power of prayer. In vs 22 it says that He will give what we ask if we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing to Him. Now this doesn't mean that He will gives us every little thing we ask for. It all depends on our hearts and motives. James 4:3 says that, "if you ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may not spend it on your pleasures." We can't be selfish with our prayers. God will give us just what we need exactly when we need it. And lastly in verse 24 it gives us proof that we are true believers if the presence of the Holy Spirit is in our lives. (Romans 5:5, 8:16)
*First today, please check your hearts and see if there is any hatred towards your fellow believers. If there is repent of it and give it all to the Lord. Ask that He will take this struggle away.
*Second, as you begin to pray next time see if your heart is in the right place. Don't let selfishness hinder you from receiving God's blessings. From personal experience, whenever I have truly asked the Lord for something on my knees, He has always been faithful to bless me and usually in ways I hadn't imagined.