Session 4

How forgiveness changes you

From 1 John: A 7-Day Devotional

We’ve lost our temper with our kids, ignored an opportunity to be generous, or let the urge to indulge get the better of us.

We’re not yet who we want to be, but we’re not who we used to be either. Before meeting Jesus, we were oblivious to our sinfulness. After meeting Jesus, the Holy Spirit inside of us makes us aware of our sinfulness — not out of condemnation, but out of a desire to help us change.

We cannot meet Jesus and stay the same. John, one of Jesus’ closest followers, writes, “No one who lives in [Jesus] keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6).

When we understand the depth of Jesus’ love and what He did for us, it draws us to Him. And as we spend time with Jesus, we begin to desire Him more than the sin. Saved people are not always free of sinful behavior, but forgiven people can change.

Salvation is a starting point, and the same Spirit that drew us to Jesus in the first place will continue to shape us over time. Even on our worst days, the Holy Spirit doesn’t leave us or abandon us. He continues to draw us back to Jesus, time and time again.

One of the best ways to know if we are children of God is to look back at our lives and ask: Was there a time when I asked Jesus into my life? Is my life different now than it was back then? As we listen to Jesus and do what He says, we grow more righteous in His love and less rebellious.

Reflect:

  • Would you describe yourself as righteous or rebellious? Why?
  • What’s one way that your life has changed since you started following Jesus?
  • How can you become more righteous and less rebellious? Is there anything you need to stop doing? Start doing?

Need to talk to someone about your relationship with Jesus? Stop by the Care Room at your campus on Sunday, or connect with someone here.

4 of 7

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

Don’t follow the rules

Our world has perfected the art of performance-based love. It is exhausting to feel like you’re only as valuable as you are expendable. ...

Read Devotional

Session 2

Why God’s love is different

What if God was not love? What if He existed as all-powerful and all-knowing but lacked the attribute of love? Love sets our God apart f...

Read Devotional

Session 3

How to love the unlovable

It’s easy to love people who love you back. But then there are times when it’s not so easy to love. The times you have been hurt and wron...

Read Devotional

Session 4

How forgiveness changes you

We’ve lost our temper with our kids, ignored an opportunity to be generous, or let the urge to indulge get the better of us. We’re not y...

Read Devotional

Session 5

What to do when we doubt the love of God

Most of us, at some point, will question or doubt God’s love. Having doubts doesn’t make us bad Christians. It just makes us human. ...

Read Devotional

Session 6

Three ways to prevent sin

Every Christian wants to know the secret to living free of sin. When Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery, “Sin no more,” we wonder, ...

Read Devotional

Session 7

Where to find joy

When was the last time you sat back, looked around, and realized you were grateful for your life? We experience joy when we’re connect...

Read Devotional

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