Today’s passage of Scripture, John is telling us how to go about sacrificial love.
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 3:19-23
In the previous post, Fellowship – The sweetness of Life, we discovered that love is more than just words we speak, but love is shown in the actions and deeds we do in truth. Now we will look deeper into what is meant by “in truth” John explains what he means by “in truth.” In order to get the point across John explains the problem of a shameful conscience (3:19-20) and the blessing of a clear conscience (3:21-23).
The problem of a corrupt conscience: “19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything”
When we put our minds to do something to help others, it is then that our hearts may condemn us and accuse us of false motives, our own unworthiness, or any number of doubts. Where do these doubts come from? From our hearts and our conscience.
The New Testament frequently refers to conscience as being a person’s heart. This is where our morals live, what tells us what is right and wrong. Our conscience came from the spirit of Adam and Eve when their relationship and fellowship with God was restored after they sinned. Remember that before sin they were innocent. But that after they sinned, they did have some knowledge of good and evil. Although the gift of conscience is from God, our consciences do not possess complete knowledge of good and evil.
God knows our hearts!
For this reason we must appeal to God’s infinite and greater knowledge. How do we do this? We can assure our hearts by realising that our own consciences do not have a perfect understanding of the thoughts and intents of the heart. But God does!
So do not let the doubts of your own conscience keep you from acts of sacrificial love. Arise and shine, display God’s glory all around you.
Just do it!
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