Putting God's Word into Practice…

1 John 3:20-22 Present Tense Purity and Prayer

on February 12, 2014

For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and HE KNOWS EVERYTHING.  Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, WE HAVE confidence before God: and whatever WE ASK we receive from him, because WE KEEP his commandments and WE DO what pleases him. (20-22)

First, I’d like to clarify some thoughts on condemnation (being guilty of wrong and sentenced to punishment).  Those who belong to the Lord have finished with condemnation.   (Romans 8:1~ “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”) The moment that Christ’s forgiveness and grace washed over our sins we were made righteous before the Living God.  The wrath of God toward our sins has been satisfied by Christ’s finished work on the cross.  Jesus Christ took our guilt and our punishment.  He was condemned on our behalf.  God knows everything!  If our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, and He has given to us His righteousness as our own–we are not condemned!

However, God also knows our hearts in each circumstance.  He knows whether our motives in giving and our words of love flow from a pure heart.   He knows if we are being obedient in doing all that He asks with all that He’s given to us.  Basically, we can’t fake God out with our actions…and we can’t pray to him with fake, selfish motives and boldly expect Him to give us what we want. Powerful praying requires purity!

Pure prayers require an inclination towards obedience and a submissive heart that longs to please the Lord.  All the verbs in the verses are present tense.   When we make a practice of love, obedience, and pleasing the Lord, our hearts are aligned with His and we can ask anything and trust we will receive it.  What a promise!!!

Lord, align my heart with yours.  I want to be a bold pray-er.  I want a heart set on obedience to your answer even if it is different from my will.  May your will be done in all I ask of you…specifically regarding my sons, my husband, the church, and my daily activities.

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