This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 1 John 5, verse 2.
Like a good lawyer, John continues to plainly spell out the case for how followers of Jesus express Jesus’ love. We love Jesus so we love the Father (and the Spirit). We love Jesus by living out that expression in our lives, in how we think, speak, and act. By doing this, we are loving the Three-in-One God of eternity in simple, understandable ways that other people can see…and hopefully they’ll see that and, through it, God the Spirit will work on their hearts so that they might love in the same way.
Why do we muck that up? I mean, it isn’t very difficult. Why do we mess it up?
See, I hear what people say about how living as a follower is tough. You HAVE TO give up so many of the things you used to enjoy. You HAVE TO change your living habits, and the way you talk, and change the ways you think. You HAVE TO behave and not be the person you were.
Brother, if you think you have to do any of those things because you follow King Jesus the Savior, then noodle this idea instead: it’s not a ‘have to’ proposition. It’s a ‘get to.’
We get to give up elusively enjoyable things that cost us more than they were worth. We get to give up bad habits while learning from them. We get to be a person remade in the image of God instead of a good person dirtied by living in a world gone bad. We get to be called ‘friend of God.’ We get to love God by carrying out His commands…
…the first of which is to love Him with all we are and all we have. And the one that comes right after that is to love each other as He loves us. See, it really isn’t very difficult and we don’t have to do it…but I guarantee you’ll want to because you get to. Get a taste of what it feels like inside to know you’re loved and forgiven. It won’t take long for you to see that all the beer pong, pot parties and gang bangs you can cram into a weekend will start to look hollow and soiled.
Best of all, the more you read verses like these, the more you’ll learn different depths and angles that you may not have considered before. God works that way through His word. John 15 talks about God working with us as friends. Imagine it: after all we do to offend God, He still wants us to think of Him as a friend; mind blowing. He continues to do it despite our best efforts to consciously or unconsciously mess it up.
Friend and Savior Jesus, live in me so I might live out Your good command to love and be Your friend.