My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
—1 John 3:18-21, NKJV
God is love (1 John 4:8). He doesn’t withhold His love based on how we think or act. If He did, none of us would have ever received the love He gave us in Christ. God loved us so much, He sent His Son as full payment for our sins (John 3:16). His love is never withdrawn. It is constant. He never leaves us (Hebrews 13:5). We are the ones who allow the feelings of condemnation we experience from our sins to keep us from running to Him. There is no condemnation in the love of Christ (John 3:17). It is the goodness of God which brings us to repentance. (Romans 2:4).
God’s love in our lives should express itself not only in what we say but in how we treat others. A person who says he loves someone, but then acts out of unforgiveness toward that person, only cares for himself. That is not God’s love expressed in his life. We are called to forgive as Christ has forgiven us. There is no condemnation in Christ’s love (Romans 8:1). When you experience the unconditional love and forgiveness of Christ with a humble heart, it changes the way you love. You unconditionally put the concerns and needs of others before your own. God’s kind of love expresses itself in kindness toward others. Truly loving others is evidence of the work of God’s grace in our hearts.
1 John 3:19 says that “we are of the truth, and we shall assure our hearts before Him.”
We have received the righteousness of God because of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can know the truth of God’s love and still emotionally feel the need to be assured of our right standing with Him. When we don’t love others as Christ loves us, then we don’t feel the assurance of God’s love. The enemy comes against us to make us doubt that we have received Christ’s righteousness (John 10:10). He comes to steal that truth out of our hearts (Matthew 13:19). But as believers, we have right standing with God. That truth is the foundation of our salvation. It gives us the ability to stand against the enemy and assure ourselves of God’s love.
Many believe that if everything is right between them and the Lord, they will always feel good. That’s just not the case. Our hearts always need reassurance. If David could encourage himself, then we who know Christ certainly have the ability to assure ourselves of the righteousness we have received in Jesus.
“For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1 John 3:20-21, NKJV).
These verses say our hearts can condemn us. Have you ever believed that your feelings of unworthiness are from God? Not all reservations we have are from God. Some are lies of the enemy. We have to know and believe God’s truth over our feelings to know the difference.
Even when our hearts feel unsure, God is greater than what we think. He knows the truth of our right standing with Him. Jesus took all the condemnation for our sins (John 3:16-17). And now we have no condemnation in Him (Romans 8:1). When we agree with God’s truth and rid our hearts of condemnation, confidence in who we are in Christ yields fruit in our lives (1 John 3:21).
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22, NKJV).
When our minds are renewed by God’s truth (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23)—when we allow His truth to purge us of feelings of condemnation, we can then experience confidence toward God. We can draw near to Him in full assurance of our right standing in Christ.
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward” (Hebrews 10:35).
There is a great reward when we have confidence in God.
When we, who are justified by faith in Christ, live by His faith which has justified us, we don’t shrink back (Hebrews 10:38). We assure our hearts and trust His truth over our feelings.
Have confidence in your right standing in Christ. Assure your heart of who you are in His grace. Encourage yourself in His truth. There is no condemnation in Him.
You have confidence in God when you don't live in condemnation. When you trust God, you are unveiled before Him. You live in the Holy Spirit. And where the Holy Spirit is, you know the freedom of His grace (2 Corinthians 3:17).
© 2023 Lynn Lacher
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