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1 John 3:19-24
19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will set our heart at ease before Him, 20 that if our heart condemns us, that God is greater than our heart, and He knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments remains in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He remains in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
John’s clear words concerning the necessity of obedience combined with his careful handling of troubled consciences (3:19–24) is rich in pastoral lessons. Too often believers choose either a firm stand for truth or a gentleness with troubled souls, as if the two were mutually exclusive. John shows us another way: the gospel makes clear, nonnegotiable claims upon us and then reminds us of the hope and power found in Christ.
How often do we tend to choose a side of something, and then get trapped into every view that the side you chose being considered golden? Like it or not this happens every four year or less based on politics. We chose a side and then feel that everything that side stands for is the truth. The reality is, this does not only happen in politics, but in a lot of things. I am definitely guilty of this when it comes to certain things, like I remember I used to be team android for a long time. I told myself that I would never have an iPhone because XYZ, and when ever someone tried to convince me otherwise, I would instantly shut them down. Eventually I made the switch over to iPhone, and now I don't know if I will ever go back to android. Not because I feel one is better over the other, but due to the work that it takes to switch back. I use this simple example to state that many times we make our own non-negotiables that cause us to forget about the true claim that should be on our life.
Living in obedience to Christ and loving others should always trump our non-negotiable. Yes we have a loving God and forgiving God, but that is not a pass to living a self-serving life.
What are the things that you are holding onto, that is keeping you from the nonnegotiable claims upon our lives from Christ?