Summary: We must consistently share our lives with God by spending time in His word and in prayer to continue fellowshipping with Him.
Consistency: a piece of the universe that seems to be lacking more than most any other component. As human beings, we thrive on consistency. Every day you may put your glasses on the bedside table or on your dresser before you go to sleep so that when you wake up you will always know where it is. It will consistently be where you put it the night before and if the cat knocks them off, it can cause a bit of a problem. We like consistent times when we work and play. Even our very bodies thrive on waking up and sleeping at the same times each day. We love having a consistent job where we do not have to sit and wonder if we will be employed next week. It can be absolutely nerve-wracking to wonder if you will have a job tomorrow. We like consistency, especially when other people are involved. We find assurance in knowing that a person or item will be where we expect and do what they should do. When people consistently are there for us and spend time with us, we feel that we can trust them.
C.H. Spurgeon, a great preacher, once said that “A man’s life is always more forcible than his speech. When men take stock of him they reckon his deeds as dollars and his words as pennies. If his life and doctrine disagree, the mass of onlookers accept his practice and reject his preaching.” What we say to one another matters, but what we do with each other matters that much more. It is so much easier to believe in a person who lives out his or her life with dignity and honor than someone who speaks of both and does neither. We want our spouse to be consistent with their marriage vows. We want them to “love and cherish” us each and every day. We regularly want to see and hear that we are loved and cared for. Consistency plays a very large role in our daily lives but did you know that it can drastically affect your spiritual life as well?
We have been moving quickly through the book of 1 John, a book about sharing our lives with God and each other. The word for this “sharing of life” is fellowship. We must consistently share our lives with God by spending time in His word and in prayer to continue fellowshipping with Him. Regularly spending time with your spouse must happen for a healthy relationship. So also you must spend regular time with God to keep the relationship alive. When you start a camp fire, what happens if you forget to add some wood to the fire? The fire dies and you have to start over again. The fire in your heart, which burns for God, must be added to from time to time to keep it going. You must consistently add wood to the fire. 1 John 2:28-3:12 speaks of this need for consistent living in our Christian lives. You’ve heard it said, “If you talk the talk, you better walk the walk.” That’s what we are going to talk about today. Christian and hypocrite should not be found in the same sentence. We must live consistent lives to continue our fellowship with God. We must talk the talk and walk the walk. The truth is that the results will be obvious. Let’s look at our talk first.
The Talk – Do we sound like we act? (1 John 2:28)
“Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”
Let’s take these verses piece by piece. Verse 28 says that each person must abide or live with Christ so that when He returns they will be prepared. When Christ comes back, every body will be humbled and put down on their knees. Some people will do this willingly while others will fight it to their own disgrace. John tells them that they must live with Christ so that they will not shrink away or try to hide from Him because they chose not to believe in Him. The word “abide” means to live with but not just once but on a regular and consistent basis. John is telling them that they must make a choice each day to either live with Christ or live without Him. They could choose stand in confidence or hide in shame. Many Pharisees had made a mistake like these men and women could make. They would do and act just like Christians, saying all the right things.
Jesus speaks to those who choose only to speak like a Christian and not act. “"Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ’I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (NIV) These men and women gave “lip-service” to the greatness of God and yet never really knew God. They spoke about Him and even did miraculous healings and yet never really got to know God by spending time with Him.