Sent:  April 26, 2003

Subject:  Actions = Assurance

Dear Ethan & Emily:

A great passage in the Scriptures that I am reading this morning is 1 John 3:18-24.  One hot topic for me as I was growing up was having a real assurance of my salvation.  This passage addresses that and gives the answer:  “It is by our ACTIONS that we KNOW we’re living in the truth, so we will be CONFIDENT when we stand before the Lord…” (v.19).  Also in 1 John:  “And how can we be sure that we belong to Him?  By obeying His commandments” (v.3).

And this wonderful promise follows in v.24:  “Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with Him, and He with them.”  It is that fellowship every day that has sustained and blessed me down thru the years.  My prayer is that both of you will also be so blessed.

But the degree to which you will know and experience God’s presence and blessing is not dependent on God…but on you.  The Christian life is a series of conscious decisions that takes a commitment on our part.  It just isn’t an “auto” type of thing.  We make the decision…and it is a conscious and definite one…as to what our life will be.  God is ready and willing, but He will not force Himself on us.

I pray every day that the “cry” of your heart will be that of the Psalmist:  “I have CHOSEN to be faithful; I have DETERMINED to live by your laws.  I cling to your decrees.  Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!  If you will help me, I will RUN to follow your commands” (Ps. 119:30-32).

Certainly, the most wonderful by-product of our conscious and definite decision to live for God is that we have the assurance of our salvation.

Live in obedience…and peace knowing your salvation is secure.

I love you both…have a wonderful day.