Abiding in a Walk Like Jesus

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. ~ 1 John 2:1 ~

Today's devo can be summed up simply by saying: walk like Jesus. However, this basic deceleration will inevitably prompt the question: how did Jesus walk? The world today has a version of Jesus which is often far from the Jesus of the gospels. Most churches are reluctant to draw hard-lines, while some remain who will drown out all dissent with rules and laws.

Branches of Christianity often spring from one end of this spectrum to the other. With cries and un-discerning declarations of, "JUST love everyone" to finger wags and judgemental warnings of "don't you dare sin, you are going to hell".

The love everybody side will tout their version of Jesus as One who would be perfectly fine with hanging out in bars because, they purport, after all, he ate with tax collectors and prostitutes... while theological counterparts gasp and grab their crucifix to ward off the evil spirits because, to even speak these things will certainly bring hell and damnation.

What everyone misses is the road which runs right in-between. "Will the real Jesus step forward?"

None of us can fully know Jesus this side of heaven. I believe His character is much more complex than the do-gooders and crucifixes want to charge. However, we are called to KNOW Jesus and His commands - to walk as He walked.

IF Jesus were to step into a bar, it would not be to chuck a few back with the gang and shoot a round of darts before sucking in some smoke and heading on his way. Jesus did dine with societal "outcasts", but he did so in order to impress change upon them... to share His Good News and to teach about a better life. For those who did not want to hear or be transformed he "kicked the dust off" His Holy feet and walked on - He did not join them in wayward behavior. He loved them enough to correct their wayward thinking and let them go when change was imminently impossible.

In the other side of the argument, Jesus does condemn sin which, as children's ministry leaders often define, "is anything we think, say, or do which breaks God's heart and makes Him cry." God hates sin. He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin - not so we could keep living in it, rather, that we could be delivered from it and transformed. Everyone sins. It is why we need Jesus. Hell and damnation do exist, but not for the repenting heart who daily searches to KNOW and do better... to walk like Jesus.

And by this, we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, ~ 1 John 2:3-4 ~

Having a relationship with Jesus is being united with Him and others in salvation, then choosing to emulate His behavior. Discerning, forgiving, sharing HIM with all who don't yet know.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. ~ John 17:20-21 ~

John MacArthur explains how this 1 John cross-reference in John 17 is "not an experiential unity, but the unity of common eternal life shared by all who believe in the truth, and it results in the one body of Christ all sharing His life..." Not to step away from our point about not sinning and walking like Jesus, rather, to deepen the impact of why it is so important and how we are not alone when we follow. Because, commentary on 1 John also points out how this call to walk as Jesus walked, to practice righteousness, is the outward display of the inward changes our salvation is continuously working.

but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. ~ 1 John 2:5-6 ~

While it may take eternity to truly know Jesus, it only takes right now to KNOW Him in a redemptive and transformative way. Don't rely on the world's interpretation of Jesus, the versions which seem to fit a lifestyle of folly when, in fact, the real Jesus is behind the book jacket of your Bible, begging to be properly studied and followed. A Jesus whose love is not in fluffy self-assurances, but rather, whose love is more deeply rooted in a relationship with righteousness, a willingness to submit and follow, a desire to be daily forgiven and guided into a Life which exudes His glory.

When John wrote his epistle, 1st century Christianity was in danger of being over-run by a version of Jesus which allowed bad behavior and made concessions for sin. In this letter, Jesus' "favorite disciple" was subtly calling out this mindset and reminding his readers that his letter was intended to help them "so that [they] may not sin". To encourage them to trust Jesus and His righteousness and to follow - to abide. To do the will of God over our own will - to walk like Jesus.

I have not come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. ~ John 6:38 ~

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For the month of February we will be studying the book of 1 John and asking, "How can we abide? How can we live a life where God abides with us?". I will be posting devotionals 2x a week, with a condensed version and graphic collaboration shared on Instagram and Facebook. Please help yourself to the FREE copy of this 20-lesson study on the resource page of our site, or by clicking below...

...and join us on socials, like, comment, share and subscribe! With so much ground to cover, and only 9 sessions to cover it in, we acknowledge there are many more points to be made. We pray the limited ones we share, however, will provide LIGHT into the place of abidingā€¦

Blessings as you abide,


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