“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” 1 John 2:28-29
I like watching people. People are interesting. Sometimes I try and guess things about the people I’m watching. Education level. The kind of job they have. How old they are. Sometimes if I see two young people together I try to guess whether or not their siblings or just friends. This can sometimes be difficult because sometimes brothers and sisters don’t look anything alike. Other times it’s the most logical assumption since they look so much alike.
In the same way that families have looks, different occupations have looks as well. There’s a look to school teachers, the kind of pants and shirts they combine together and, for men, the tie the choose. There’s a look to police officers, mostly the hair cut and the way they carry themselves and behave around people. There’s a look to former military, especially marines, the way they talk, and stand, and relate to people.
Most of the time I never get to find out if my guesses are correct, when I engage in people watching, but the game entertains me nonetheless.
But while guessing things about people, from what we see in just a few seconds or minutes, is an interesting way to pass the time, who we are as people isn’t a game. Especially who we are in our relationship with God.
In our focus text, the apostle John exhorts us to abide in God. If we do this he says that we will have confidence, and not be ashamed, when he appears at the second coming. Then he goes on to say, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.”
John reveals, in these words, that abiding with Jesus, being born of God, has a transforming influence upon our characters and behavior. People should know by the things we do, the quality of our conversations, the nature of our relationships, whether or not we’re Christians.
And being righteous, doing those things that would be pleasing God, isn’t about earning a place with him or purchasing a home in heaven. Jesus already purchased our salvation and offers us a place together with God.
Our confidence comes for the same reason little children run eagerly to parents and grandparents but hang back from strangers. They know them.
John tells us how to know, by the changes that come into our lives, whether or not we have a relationship with God, because he wants us to know, and be confident, that we’re ready to see Jesus.