July 09 2021
Today, Friday July 09
The Proof of Our Love
1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
To walk in the light means to be open and honest, to be sincere. Years ago I read a couple of books that I would recommend to everyone. “Telling Yourself the Truth”, and “Telling Each Other the Truth”. They were both written by the same author, William Backus. We are either basing all of our decisions on a lie or the truth. I can’t overstate the importance of knowing the truth, believing the truth, and applying the truth to every aspect of our lives. John’s opening words in both First and Second John were focused on truth. He states: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4) And we must always remember that the “Truth” is not a concept or an idea but is a Person, Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)
But walking in the light means something else: it means obeying God's Word (1 John 2:3-4). "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" (Ps. 119:105). To walk in the light means to spend time daily in God's Word, discovering His will; and then obeying what He has told us.
Obedience to God's Word is proof of our love for Him. There are three motives for obedience. We can obey because we have to, because we need to, or because we want to. A slave obeys because he has to. If he doesn't obey he will be punished. An employee obeys because he needs to. He may not enjoy his work, but he does enjoy getting his paycheck! He needs to obey because he has a family to feed and clothe. But a Christian is to obey his Heavenly Father because he wants to—for the relationship between him and God is one of love. "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).
This is the way we learned obedience when we were children. First, we obeyed because we had to. If we didn't obey, we were spanked! But as we grew up, we discovered that obedience meant enjoyment and reward; so we started obeying because it met certain needs in our lives.
And it was a mark of real maturity when we started obeying because of love.
"Baby Christians" must constantly be warned or rewarded. Mature Christians listen to God's Word and obey it simply because they love Him. This is what happened with the disciples of Jesus. Read and think about these words Jesus told His disciples in John 15:12-15: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
A servant obeys because he has to obey, but a friend sacrifices and gives because he wants to out of love. Have you graduated into friendship with Jesus?