Walking in His Love: A Study of John’s Letters, 23

John has led us through the light of walking with God by loving God and loving others. As we do, we have to watch out for those working against the cause of Christ. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit, John tells us, who fills us and guides us and remains in us. God’s love is so amazing, and that love is in us through faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son. We love because he first loved us.

Can any more be said about this love?

John says yes, as he shares with us today:

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him. This is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God and obey his commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. Who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 John 5:1-5 CSB

The love of God moves us to keep his commands.

When a father is kind and loving, generous and giving, a child is much more apt to strive to please him. We obey such a father, because we’re first loved by the one who brought us into this world (with the help of the mother, obviously). It’s easy to please such a dad, though there may be many of you reading this today who never had such a relationship with your earthly father. When earthly fathers do not reflect the image of our heavenly father, it makes it hard to be so easily moved to please God. It’s hard, but not impossible—why? Because he pours into us of his Spirit and creates in us a new heart.

His perfect love casts out past fear.

I have witnessed countless people come to faith in Christ and give themselves wholeheartedly and joyfully to the service of the Father because he’s changed them from the inside out. We want to serve God because he first lovingly served us.

Keeping God’s commands is freeing.

A father who instills fear, commands with a harsh voice. The natural result of a child is withdrawal, crouching, and rushing to quickly do what was demanded. This kind of obedience is not done to please the father but to avoid punishment. I’m so thankful our Heavenly Father is not like this. The punishment we deserved has already been paid by Christ on the cross. We’re left to live in his love with anticipation of our eternal home. John tells us that God’s commands are not burdensome. Because of the Spirit living in us, we have conquered the lies of this world through our faith. We know where we’re headed, and nothing can stop us. In the meantime, I gladly do the good works he’s prepared in advance for me to do.

Are you doing the next good thing to God’s glory? There’s no weight to it, no sense of guilt. Because we love God, we look at a task—no matter how menial—and do it with joy. That’s what brings him glory; that’s what bears fruit.

I pray that you will live and serve as a joyful conqueror today. If you know Christ as Savior, you can, because he now lives in you to make the way.

Grace and Peace

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