When I was really struggling with a very persistent area of temptation in my life, it suddenly occurred to me: What if I get caught and other people know what I did?
This mortifying thought had an almost immediate chilling effect on my desire to do what was wrong.
God used this to teach me a critical lesson about love.
The idea that I would be deterred so quickly from temptation by my shame of what others thought about me, instead of being deterred from evil because of my love for God. was an unpleasant revelation about my lack of love for God.
My sin was the reason He died.
How could I so easily desire to return to it without my love restraining me from such offense against His love?
The Bible says, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (I John 2:1-2).
What kind of heart would continue to sin and treat God’s grace with such flagrant disregard?
Paul wrote, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1)
The proof of God’s love to us was the gift born in a manger; the proof of our love to Him is the gift of our heart.
How do we know if God has our heart? The Bible says: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know we are in Him” (I John 2:3-5).
When we resist temptation because of our desire to lovingly obey Him, then we know we’ve given Him our heart.
Christ’s love for us enabled us to love Him.
We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
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