In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother (1 John 3:10).
If “righteousness” is the demarcation between children of the devil and children of God, we’d better understand what it is so we can practice it. We know that God is love. We know that God is light, or truth. We know that His kingdom if comprised of righteousness, peace and joy.
So what can we conclude? If we are to practice righteousness, then we are to practice love. We are to practice being light, which is practicing truth. We are to practice Peace and Joy.
Years ago I read, multiple times, a little book called “Practicing His Presence.” It said to pretend that Jesus was standing right there, no matter where I was or what I was doing. By practicing His Presence I learned that He really is always with me. Because of His Presence I learned to control my behavior, my thinking and to bring my words into alignment with Him. I carry on a running dialogue with Him all day long, not a monologue, a dialogue because not only do I speak, but I listen and He speaks. Ours is a conversational relationship, a true friendship.
But when I’m not Practicing Righteousness, He remains silent and I don’t like that! When I’m not loving my brother He remains silent so I choose to change my heart and I practice love for my brother. Love, in the Biblical sense, is an action verb; it is not a passive noun. Therefore, I ask Him how to love my brother and since He knows him better than I do, He tells me exactly what to do to love my brother.
So practice loving everybody. Practice putting truth into action. Practice Peace. Practice Joy. Pretend Righteousness and find that it is always there.
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God (1 John 3:9).
I confess. I still sin. Probably I speak for you as well when I admit that sometimes I worry, I can still be fearful, I complain now and then, I’m not always filled with love and faith isn’t always my platform. Let me quickly say I don’t deliberately choose these things, they seem to pop up of their own volition.
However, because I am born of God I instantly know I have sinned and I know who inspired these things to pop up—the devil! We cannot keep him from feeding us lines to say and ideas to think, but the best way to defeat him is to starve him to death. In other words, don’t do what he inspires us to do or to say and if we fall, repent and quickly ask the Lord to forgive. We choose, and the Holy Spirit helps, to turn our words and our thinking around because God’s Seed does remain in us.
What is this Seed that remains in us? 1 Peter 1:23 says, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” Seed, in the New Testament, is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word and God planted us in Him when we surrendered our lives to the Lord and at the same time He planted Jesus in us. That incorruptible Seed will remain there forever, unless we choose to rip Him up and kick Him out. What does that Seed do when we sin? He waits patiently for us to turn.”