1 John 2
4Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments(E) is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5but whoever(F) keeps his word, in him truly(G) the love of God is perfected.(H) By this we may know that we are in him: 6whoever says he(I) abides in him(J) ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Today as I was working around the house, I flipped on a Piper sermon based on this scripture passage. I’ve got my iPod hooked up to a little speaker we’ve got, so I’ve lately become a regular listener of “Desiring God Sermons”, “Ask Pastor John”, “The Resurgence”, and a few other podcasts. Now, Piper is one of my favorite teaching pastors, but I admit it usually takes me a good 2 – 3 listens to one of his sermons to truly get much out it (the fussing of my baby or the rushing of water in the dish sink often ends up drowning out large sections of the message). One thing I did hear him talk about today, though, was the concept of being vigilant over your own words, actions and attitudes. Keeping your heart in check. Watching for any trace of sin creeping into your life. And it got me thinking…
I’m not very vigilant. Yikes.
I don’t do any of the “biggie” sins. You know, the cheating, thieving (literally) murderous variety.
…I’m not always careful with my words. I gossip without even realizing I’m doing it, and sometimes even when I DO realize I’m doing it (and probably have even inadvertently slid into slander). I lose my patience. I judge that which is not mine to judge. I am selfish. I allow bitter thoughts to take root in my heart when I’m annoyed. I could go on and on…
Easy, everyday, garden variety sins.
I won’t even begin to go into the things I DON’T do that I’m supposed to.
1 PETER 5:8
8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Vigilance isn’t a suggestion. It’s a necessity. It’s a commandment.
If I love Jesus, I will obey His commandments. I will strive to walk as He did.
I’m convicted of my need to be more vigilant…I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit is available to help me…and I’m all the more grateful for the few verses before the aforementioned 1 John 2 passage:
1 John 2
1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin,(A) we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2(B) He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but(C) also for the sins of the whole world.