Confident and Unashamed
Sunday, June 4, 2017
1 John 2:26-29
26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit — just as it has taught you, remain in him.
28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
One day Jesus is coming back. When He appears how will you receive Him? The Lord of lords and King of kings is returning? When He comes, will you hide and try to get away from Him because you know you have not lived up to His expectations?
Or will you be able to face Him with confidence and without shame?
Remember Adam and Eve? They were described as naked and unashamed when they were living in the garden before they sinned. They were introduced to shame when they sinned. They could no longer face God. They tried to hide from Him.
Jesus came to deal with our sin. He died that we could be restored to the life-giving presence of Our Creator.
Believe me, you do not want to live forever apart from Him, hiding from Him, ignoring Him. When He returns, and He is coming soon, you do not want to be trusting in your own goodness.
God insists we are to be honest with Him. That is why John tells us to confess our sin. When we are honest with Him He forgives us and restores us to righteousness, that is a right relationship with Him. Righteousness is not just doing right things, it is a right relationship with God. This is a gift from our Creator.
When we put our trust in Him, to love us and lead us, to forgive us, we experience the confident and unashamed relationship with Him that John tells of in our passage today.
Jesus took our shame upon Himself when he went to the cross. (Read that line again.)
He did not do this so that we would go on sinning and living as if God does not matter. He did this so that, going forward, we could live in the relationship with God that we were made for. He did this so that we could stand before Him confident and unashamed, knowing that He loves us.
He set us free to love Him. Before we accepted His love and grace, we lived as if God did not matter. Too often we return to this attitude in our daily lives. We ignore God as we go on our way. We forget that He is here now.
It is a good thing to look forward to His return. Life will be better then. However, life can be better now. We can, and should, live confident and unashamed today.
Sometimes we are focused on our problems and what we think we want and need. If we could only realize that God is FOR us, not against us. Our forgiveness is laid up for us. To claim it we only need to be honest with God.
Our confidence must be based on our belief in the love and mercy of God, not on our own goodness and righteousness.
This confidence brings us to the place that allows us to live for and with Him. As we live confident in God’s love and acceptance of us, we stand unashamed before Him. We are free from the need to seek to be loved because we know we are loved. Now we can love God and walk in fellowship with Him. Now we are free to love others as God intended us to love them.
The Holy Spirit is God with us. He has come to be the presence of God in us. We are never without Him.
Is this making any sense to you at all?
Does God love you? You can choose to believe this is true. If you do choose to believe it, you can live each day unashamed and confident. What a great gift!
So what are you going to do with this gift? Are you going to continue to live for yourself? Are you going to live as if you still need to prove to God that you are worthy of this great gift?
The anointing has been given. This anointing is the Holy Spirit who teaches us the truth about God, about ourselves, about life.
He teaches us that life is about Him. The Great Commandment tells us what life is to be about. Is God the most important thing, the most important person in your life?
Making the great commission the focus of our lives is one way we love God. This is also how we love people.
This must become the reason we do what we do. This must become the reason we live.
When the Great Commission becomes our focus, we get our eyes off ourselves. We begin to live as God intended us to live from the beginning.
I was with David Bowen this week. He was talking about living alone and talking to himself. He said that God had told him something like this, ‘You think you are talking to yourself, but I am listening.’
What a great attitude to develop. We can think of our every thought as prayer because He is listening.
He cares about us. He is there with us in every thought we think.
Taking every thought captive. There is an enemy who tries to lead us astray. But God loves us. He is the anointing we received when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He teaches us the truth about ourselves, but more importantly the truth about Himself. The number one truth is He loves me. The number two truth is He is my lord.
This is to be the focus of our lives. At the center is to be the two great commandments and the great commission.
How do you love God? You spend time with Him.
How do you love people? You point them to the one who loves them the most. That is God in case you are not sure about it.
You honor and glorify God by witnessing. When you tell others what God has shown you, (that He loves you and that He is your Lord), you are loving God AND you are loving those you are sharing with.
When you accept the truth that God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you, you are ready to live confident and unashamed. When you choose to believe that God has your best interests at heart you are ready to live confident and unashamed. When you have placed your trust in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, you are ready to live confident and unashamed.
When you are living confident and unashamed you will have no trouble living under the Great Commandment, the Second Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission.
How do we love God? We worship Him. We live in gratitude for this great gift He has bestowed upon us. We tell others of His love and grace and mercy. We witness and encourage others to begin living as disciples of Jesus Christ.
This is how we love God and it is how we love other people. We share with them what they need the most. It may not be what they think they need, but it is what they need.
John said he was writing about those who would lead us astray. These are they who are opposed to Christ. The enemy is the voice within that leads us away from putting our trust in the love, mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father. These are the anti-christs.
We can stand before God confident and unashamed. I can stand before the enemy, confident and unashamed because God loves me. You can stand up against those who would lead you in another direction, away from God because you are confident and unashamed. God loves you!