April 26, 2015
1 John 3:9-10
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.
O.K., so I know I am born of God and yet I continue to sin, yet today’s text tells me that if I am born of God that I will not continue to sin. What gives?
If I am honest, I am a living, walking denial of the truth of this text. Either I am not born of God or I am not getting something.
Let’s just say I am missing something. Here’s how I have been thinking about that.
There are two basic kinds of orange juice: orange juice made from concentrate and orange juice squeezed from oranges. For those of us who didn’t grow up with “Simply Orange,” we made our orange juice from little frozen cans of gooey and strong orange syrup. Mom would thaw the can overnight and dump it into a pitcher the next morning. After running a half gallon of water into the pitcher she would stir it vigorously. After the juice sat still for any length of time the concentrate would settle to the bottom. It always had to be shaken up again. In retrospect, I suppose it was the next best thing to Tang. ;0)
This is a good analogy for our life of faith. I think when most of us became Christians we got a good dose of the pure concentrate but over time we have diluted it down over and over again with more and more water. It hardly tastes like anything anymore. Oh, we’ve been shaken up a number of times over the years and the taste will get stronger for a while, but over time it’s lost its punch.
Then there’s the other kind of orange juice; the stuff like Simply Orange. Remember when that came on the market? The taste does not compare, nor does the price. Whenever I buy orange juice I’m looking for those three magic words on the label: Not From Concentrate. That’s another way of saying, “The Real Thing.”
I can’t speak for you, but I think my problem is I’ve settled for a little “Jesus Concentrate” and slowly but surely it’s gotten watered down and lost its punch. I’m tired of watered down. I want the Not From Concentrate Christian Faith. I want Simply Jesus.
John is giving us a good shake with today’s text:
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.
A good shaking up, however, will never get it done. What we need is the Not From Concentrate Simply Jesus stuff. How do we get it? First, we’ve got to be sick and tired of the watered down variety. That’s called Holy Discontent. Then we need to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into this Simply Jesus way; the new Not-From-Concentrate way of belonging to God.
J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.