1 John 2:1-11
Those who obey God’s Word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him (1 John 2:5).


Read Jesus’ words in John 15:5-14 and note how to remain in His love.


How does your life reveal to God and others that you’ve received salvation in Jesus? Why is following Him in obedience such a clear indicator of the status of our faith?

A gifted local actor was asked to play the part of Scrooge in an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for my friend’s church. The revised story included a scene where his crusty character broke down, confessed his sin, and received Jesus as his Savior. Each play practice, the actor struggled with the scene—for he was not a believer in Christ. On opening night, however, as he spoke the scripted words of repentance and acceptance of God’s gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit moved in his heart and he gave his life to Jesus!

This Christmas season, I wonder how many of us are still “playing the part”—not having truly received Jesus as Savior? Sure, we might “act religious,” but our hearts are actually far from God (2 Timothy 3:5). We’ve never truly believed, and so we’ve never truly been saved (Romans 10:9).

The apostle John revealed a definite way to tell if we’ve given center stage of our life—and all that we are—to Jesus. He wrote, “We can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments. If someone claims, ‘I know God,’ but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth” (1 John 2:3-4).

John then lifted up the command “to love one another” (1 John 2:7), stating that “Jesus lived the truth of this commandment” (1 John 2:8). Are you living a life of love and obedience to God? Are you genuinely loving others in Him?

As John said, “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). To truly follow Christ’s example, we must first know Him as Savior. Then, may our words and actions flow from a heart that reveals our obedience to Him—not acting, but truly living it.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: James 2:1-13

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10 Responses to “no longer acting”

  1. mike says:

    What a great devotion. So wonderful that God can show up in the lines of a play and transform a life.

    How great this salvation that has been given to us.

  2. Gene says:

    What a great story and thanks asking the tough questions, Tom. I know that I am a Christian because He called me and I surrendered my life to Him, but I also know because the Holy Spirit is at work in my life continually guiding, prodding, convicting me to keep on course. I’m learning how to love others through the love I was shown.

  3. roxanne robbins says:

    Grateful for the unique ways God calls us into authentic relationship with Him.

  4. mike wittmer says:

    What a great example of the need for the Holy Spirit in true conversion. Why can we say the same lines over and over and then one time come to mean them? That is the work of God.

  5. Tom, what a great word, especially for this season, when spirituality often becomes nothing more than a part of the ” Christmas spirit.”

  6. dossk says:

    Dear Tom, Thanks for the thought. When we think of Christmas, we think of presents & gifts to our own household and to our close relatives. Parties again with our church members only. I know of a lady, who perhaps “plays it right”. She feeds hundreds of destitute children during the Christmas time. She brings joy and hope to orphan children. Many have come to know Christ through her act. May the LORD help us to play it right.

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