"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."
1 John 5:2-3
We’ve been talking in church about Christ’s command to love one another as He has loved us; selflessly and sacrificially. We’ve seen how the Ten Commandments simply give the detail of how to go about doing this, and we’ve been talking about the fact that only the Holy Spirit can bring this about as we grow in grace and the fruit of the Spirit is produced in our hearts.
Now we read this verse: "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments."
Loving one another doesn’t just mean we get a warm fuzzy feeling or think kind thoughts when we think about each other. It means that we act toward one another, speak to and about one another, and do to one another what God has detailed in His commandments and then described as the Fruit of the Spirit - no matter how we are feeling at the moment.
It’s not difficult to discern whether or not we are actually living the way God has called us to live. It’s pretty simple, really.
Of course, our sinful hearts will come up with all sorts of excuses: “He started it!” or “If she didn’t make me so mad I wouldn’t have said what I said.” and “They all had it coming, after what they did.” All of these good and logical reasons to disobey God’s command and not act in love toward one another are simply evidence of our old nature still at work.
Bear with one another, forgive one another, turn the other cheek, be crucified. These are all ways of saying the same thing. And again, we can only do this by the presence of God’s Spirit in our hearts to empower us to live this way.
The question is, “Will I let Jesus reign in my heart?”
“Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
Lord, You have called me to die, so that I can truly live. Forgive my attempts to resist Your cross. Be the Lord of my life. Let Your Holy Spirit have His way in my heart.
Pastor Dan Giles