(1 John 3:10-12, NASB)
Yes, if we are not practicing righteousness, we are not of God. Furthermore, if we do not love our brothers and sisters, we are also not of God.
It all comes down to those greatest commandments of Jesus again:
"'AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31, NASB)
I know I've written this before, but it's so true. If you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, you're not going to practice sin. You're going to want to know Him so intimately that you'll spend time in His word. You'll learn what pleases Him. And you'll begin to practice righteousness more and more often.
And if you love your neighbor as yourself, you'll treat them with respect and grace and mercy. Just as Jesus treats you. If you love them, you won't sin against them. You won't cheat or gossip or explode in anger. Instead, you'll be gentle and kind and patient.
Tall orders ... But I believe it's a matter of mindset. You won't always succeed in loving God completely or loving your neighbor deeply, but if your heart and mind are focused on both, you'll begin to live both.
[NOTE: I leave on vacation for two weeks today. I should have internet access, so I hope to continue these daily devotions. However, don't be alarmed if I miss a day or two! God's richest blessings!]