Bible Reading: 1 John 1:8-2:2
If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 1 John 1:9
“Don’t expect me to be a some superstar Christian,” Ty protested. “I try to be like my pastor and the missionaries who come to visit my church. They’re totally strong Christians. They’re so perfect, and I’m not. I’ll never be like them.”
The mature Christians you know-or know of—might be more than enough to make you feel like a spiritual midget. But grab a look at a few more spiritual giants: Some of our Bible heroes “were tortured, preferring to die rather than turn from God
and be free… Some were mocked… Others were chained in dungeons. Some died
by stoning, and some were sawed in half; others were killed with the sword” (Hebrews 1 1:35-37).
Don’t think you’re immediately and instantly going to be like Abraham or Moses or Ruth or David or Paul. That’s the same as wanting to be a baseball hero like Hank Aaron when you’re playing T-ball. Or an Olympic skater like Michelle Kwan when you still skate with a pillow taped to your backside. Or a famous golfer like Tiger Woods when you haven’t yet learned to swing a fork.
Here’s some truth that might shock you-and encourage you. Those Bible heroes were not born spiritual giants. And not one of them was perfect. This is what the Bible says in 1 John: If we claim we never sin, we are just kidding ourselves—and calling God a liar.
Those ultramature Christians also needed to know how to make things right with God: “If we confess our sins to him,” John wrote, “he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9). When we get honest about what we have done, God forgives us for every evil deed.
If you can read those verses from 1 John through the eyes of those great heroes, you’ll realize that all believers are on a journey. The first step isn’t to be totally mature. It’s to be totally honest about where we’re at. God knows we aren’t mature. God knows we sin. But he still loves us. And he wants to take us by the hand and lead us on the path toward heaven.
TALK: Do you get discouraged when you hear about great heroes of the faith? How can those folks bring you inspiration rather than frustration?
PRAY: God, thanks for taking us on the journey of following you.
ACT: First John 1:9 is a verse you’re guaranteed to need as you walk the journey of faith. How about making a bookmark to keep by that verse? If you say the verse every time you open your Bible to it, you’ll soon know it very well. And you’ll never forget it!