In today’s passage, John continues to explain that love for God means love for His children and that love is expressed thru obeying His commands. He also points out that what empowers that love is our faith in Jesus Christ, thru whom we have eternal life.
1 John 5:3-4
For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.
There was a time, before I became a Christian, when I viewed Christianity as a religion with a set of restrictive rules. If I’m being honest, this view didn’t completely go away when I accepted Christ as a college student. As a young Christian, I still felt that some of God’s commands were a little burdensome. However, as I matured in my Christian walk and grew in my knowledge and love of Christ, I’ve come to realize that God’s way is simply the better way to live. This reality became progressively clearer as the object of my faith slowly shifted from satisfying my selfish desires to pleasing Christ. John says in verse 4 that whatever is born of God conquers the world and the victory that conquers the world is our faith. When we focus our faith in Christ, the world loses its alluring power, it’s no longer that shiny object for us. Then we discover that true satisfaction can only be found in Him. I’m reminded of the words of the well-known hymn,
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
God’s commands are not meant to be burdensome, but to free us and empower us to live the abundant life that God so desires for us.
Lord, thank you for your Son Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross that has made eternal life with you possible for us. Lord, help us to focus our eyes on you so that we are no longer distracted by the things of this world, and as you enable us to obey your commands, would you allow us to experience the abundant life you have always intended for us. In your Son’s precious name, amen.