Mar. 22 - Kayla Hamilton, People of Presence, Part 3
Sunday may have seemed a little different because we were watching the sermon from our homes, but we still found comfort in some great worship music and an amazing message, courtesy of Kayla Hamilton. Kayla talked about family expectations and shared that, growing up as a Ledford, there was an expectation to be musical and this was something the whole family could take part in together. You may have similar expectations in your family, whether it’s a family business, tradition, pastime, or attitude you’re relied upon to share. In the same way, as part of God’s family, He has expectations for us as His children.
1 John 3:4-10 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
This passage talks about a seed. Much like the seed of a plant, which contains the future plant it will become, the seed that God has placed in us contains our future life, that is, the person we can become through the power of the Holy Spirit. To grow this seed of God, instead of water, soil, and sun, the nutrients are love and obedience toward our Father, as well as love for one another. By willfully choosing to disobey God and allowing sin into our lives, we are allowing in the weeds that will choke God out. The good news is that we don’t have to sin because we are children of God. Due to the Holy Spirit living within us, it is possible for us to forbid sin from taking hold of us.
So if our expectations are to live in obedience to God, love others, and reject sin, how do we know if we are meeting these expectations?
1 John 3:11-24 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
I love this passage! John breaks what we need to know down to the basics, almost like a user’s manual for Christians.
“This is the message you heard.” What is it? Love one another.
“This is how we know what love is.” Say what? Jesus laid his life down for us.
“This is how we know that we belong to the truth.” Boom! If our hearts do not condemn us.
“This is his command.” And all my sisters said! To believe in Jesus and love one another.
“This is how we know that he lives in us.” Everyone together! We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
All the answers we need to know are contained right in that passage. Insert Tab A into Slot B and you’re good to go! It’s easier than Ikea, right?
If only it was. But with the help of the Holy Spirit we can get there. By loving others and resting in God’s grace, He is affirming that we are His. Allow His grace to meet you right where you are. Falling into traps of legalism, moralism, and righteousness are not the ways to His heart. The more we align ourselves with Jesus, the more our prayers become like those of the Holy Spirit, which will connect us even deeper with God’s heart.
Let faith and works collide in your life. Love others, love God, and obey Him. Want what He wants. Pray with Kingdom-minded, eternity-focused purpose. And move past shallow prayer into a deep relationship with the Father who created you to be His beloved child.