Specific Text - 1 John 5:1-5
Yesterday we looked at the first of two main themes John has in this letter: This Is How You Know that you belong to Jesus Christ. Having this assurance that we fully belong to Christ brings up John's second main theme: Since you belong to God, and God is love, then you must love.
The verb 'love' is quite nebulous and vague. It can be hard to define exactly what it means to love. John helps us out in verse 3:
In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands.
Quite simply, you are to love God by living according to His law. Of course, in order to follow His commands and law, you first need to know them, and you know them by reading the Bible. It seems like we keep coming back to this one simple concept - read, read, read God's Word.
This can seem tiring to even think about. After all, you barely had time to read this today, much less keep a tally of all the commands you were supposed to be keeping as well as continuing to learn more about commands that you don't even know about yet. But this is not what God has in mind for you at all. John goes on:
And his commands are not burdensome.
Following God's commands simply means living the way He designed you to live: in harmony with Him and His creation. You don't need to scour the Bible for each command and instruction, rather spending ample time each day in God's Word will renew your nature in such a way that living according to His command will quite natural - you won't even need to think about it.
Nike has an awesome motto, and one that fits this passage nicely: Just Do It. But Nike's conception of what this means is quite different than John's. Just Do It for Nike means digging deep, powering through, and overcoming obstacles to gain victory.
John reminds you today that you don't need to overcome (the greek word = nike!) the world by following rules and powering through obstacles, rather
for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
You don't need to keep God's commands in order to overcome the world, rather you keep His commands because in Christ you already have overcome the world. John has already reminded you that you don't love God so that He will love you, rather you love God (= keep His commands) because He first loved you.
Prayer For The Day: Dear Father, thank you for overcoming the world through your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you that I am included in that victory. Help me to know your Word so well that showing my love to you by keeping your commands becomes more and more my natural instinct. Amen.