Complete the Race

So I know a person that wants to be a sprinter. It is interesting watching him train. I don’t know much about running, it has been years but I remember the training. We always ran longer distances than the event and then would try to increase our speed. Then when the race came we had a little extra others did not have. Well, this person is training shorter distances than the event they are wanting to run. No wonder others have more speed at the three-quarter mark and beyond. To complete the race at full speed you have to train at the full length or beyond.

In life we don’t want to give up early either. We want to keep going to the very end and beyond. Are you living that way? I hope so.

1 John 2:7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.

What is John trying to draw our attention to? One, that God set forth a law, His commandments for us long ago. Second, He reminds us what those Ten Commandments were and are the foundation. Third, is that the Commandments are from the beginning. We talked about beginning before. This time it is referring to when God began time for man. Fourth, John reminds us that we are to have heard this before. That also means someone needed to have shared the truth with us. Are you being intentional at sharing God’s Word? What did you do this week to share God’s Word?

1 John 2:8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

John draws attention to the light vs. darkness again. This is a big deal to God and He uses a lot of the Bible writers to remind us but John wrote on this often. Is it a big deal to you? Are you careful to not walk in darkness, to not allow darkness into your home and life? What precautions are you taking?

1 John 2:9-10 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

Next John gives us a measure. Going through the book of 1 John you can see many measures of a Christian, or marks of a believer. I would recommend getting a pad of paper out and going through 1 John and writing those down.

1 John 2:11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

In this verse we are given clear direction that if we hate a brother we are in darkness. Listen to the effects of being in darkness. One, we walking in it. In other words it is continuous. IN most cases I see people get worse not better if they are walking in darkness. Do you understand what I am saying? If a person is in sin they grow deeper into the sin and it takes over more and more of their life. Often it grows from one sin to another and deeper.

Two, they are blinded by the sin. Catch the “and does not know where he is going.” Often when we see people kind of lost in life it is because they are trapped by a sin. Now I know that is not always the case but it is the case some times. The reason people are wandering lost is because they don’t have a truth to rely on or to seek out. See, someone hating is blind. God is pretty direct here. So what if you are reading this and you have hate in your heart and you don’t want it. Are you being convicted of the sin? One, that is a good thing because it means you are listening to God, to the Holy Spirit. Two, this means, most likely, you are not “walking”. There is a big difference in walking in a sin and sin that you are convicted of. That could be a long discussion that we might have sometime. Ask me if you have questions on it.

Third, you might be asking, “How do I reverse this sin”? WOW! That is the place we all want to be, the place where we are confessing and repenting of sin. What things might happen in repentance of this sin of hating a brother? First, you start by loving instead of hating. Second, you might want to memorize some Scriptures that deal with this and the attitude you should have. Third, you may need to go to that person and ask forgiveness for your attitude towards them. Strongholds are breakable, but they take work and often they take a person coming along side to mentor or serve as an accountability partner. This is a great thing and we all need a work like this in our life.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

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