September 07 2021
Today, Tuesday September 7
1 John 5:1-3
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 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.”
When we have a “perfect love” of God, which actually means we have a mature, growing love of our heavenly Father, there will be at least four things that will be evident in our lives. First, there will be confidence or boldness in our relationship with God especially as we think about future judgement. “His love is perfected in us so that we may have confidence….” (1 John 4:17-19).
Second, we will not have to pretend, but will be honest with God, with ourselves and with others. “If anyone says he loves God and hates his brother he is a liar…” (1 John 4:20-21).
Third, we will have joyful obedience. Not simply obedience—but joyful obedience! "His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). Everything in creation—except man—obeys the will of God. "Fire and hail, snow, and vapor, stormy wind fulfilling His Word" (Ps. 148:8). In the Book of Jonah, you see the winds and waves, and even the fish, obeying God's commands; but the prophet persisted in disobeying. Even a plant and a little worm did what God commanded. But the prophet stubbornly wanted his own way.
Disobedience to God's will is a tragedy—but so is reluctant, grudging obedience. God does not want us to disobey Him, but neither does He want us to obey out of fear or necessity. What Paul wrote about giving also applies to living: "not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7).
What is the secret of joyful obedience? It is to recognize that obedience is a family matter. We are serving a loving Father and helping our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have been born of God, we love God, and we love God's children. And we demonstrate this love by keeping God's commandments. We show our love to God, not by empty words but by willing works. We are not slaves obeying a master; we are children obeying a Father. And our sin is a family affair.
One of the tests of maturing love is our personal attitude toward the Bible, because in the Bible we find God's will for our lives revealed. An unsaved man considers the Bible an impossible book, mainly because he does not understand its spiritual message (1 Cor. 2:14). An immature Christian considers the demands of the Bible to be burdensome. He is somewhat like a little child who is learning to obey, and who asks, "Why do I have to do that?" or "Wouldn't it be better to do this?"
But when we experience God's perfecting love we find ourselves enjoying the Word of God and truly loving it. We does not read the Bible as a textbook, but as a love letter. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, and its theme is the Word of God. Every verse but two (Ps. 119:122, 132) mentions the Word of God in one form or another, as "law," "precepts," "commandments," etc.
The interesting thing is that the psalmist loves the Word of God and enjoys telling us about it! "O how love I Thy Law!" (Ps. 119:97) He rejoices in the Law (Ps. 119:14, 162) and delights in it (Ps. 119:16, 24). It is honey to his taste (Ps. 119:103). In fact, he turns God's Law into a song: "Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage" (Ps. 119:54).
Today, are you living in “joyful obedience” to the will of God, loving His Word and delighting in it? It is my prayer that you are, but if not, I trust this “chat” will encourage and help you to discover this “perfect love.”