Readings for the Day
Jeremiah 33-34, Psalm 74, 1 John 5
Verses for the Day
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.
Thoughts for the Day
John re-affirms that a person who believes that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is born again. They are born into a heavenly family with God the Father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit. John is very relational, as he talks about our new relationship with God, and our new identity in His family. Since John is writing against the heresy that Jesus wasn't really human, John uses familial terms such as Father, Son and child.
But like any relationship, there needs to be love shown in action. John says the way we can show our love is by obeying His commands. Let's be clear here, we don't obey God to get His love, but because we have it. This is often the most misunderstood teaching in the Christian church. Why? Because we are always afraid obedience is going to lead to legalism. We are afraid that after starting with grace, we will return to the Law. That is a real danger, but it is But it is equally dangerous to have an allergy to the word obedience.
Key verse. His commands are not burdensome. Many people think talk of being obedient to God's commands is somehow laying a burden on people. When in fact a bigger burden is when we don't obey God. It not only hurts our relationship with God, but also with others. If we really trust God as our Heavenly Father, Would we not trust that His commands are for our own good. After all how could any good Father not do what is best for their child?
So when we trust God by obeying His commands, we not only see they are not burdensome but a way we show our love for God. How do you view obedience to God's commands? Do you see them as burdensome or freeing?
Paul in Ephesians says,
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
In fact as we obey God's commands we are doing what we were created to do in advance. We not only glorify God in these works, but experience the life we were meant to live.