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.


  • 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.

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