“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:3
Really, John? Isn’t that laws and rules and restrictions? But what comes next?
“And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:3-5
That makes more sense. So, we love God by keeping His commandments, but we keep His commandments through faith in Jesus, not through our own strength. Ok, Jesus has made it possible, but isn’t it still stifling?
If I really love someone, serving them never feels confining. If I really love someone, I want their happiness more than I want mine. If I really love someone, their desires become mine. If I really love someone, I want what they want. If I really love God, I can do whatever I want because I want what God wants!
Love God and do as you please!
“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
If you really love God, His desires are your desires. If you really love God, your steps are His steps. If you really love God, He will give you the desires of your heart because they are the desires of His heart.
Try to wrap your mind around that. I can’t.
God freely gives His grace to His children. Grace doesn’t just not condemn us, it bestows God’s unmerited favor upon us. Sometimes, I get caught up in the fact that I am saved from my sins – and I am. But, that’s not all. I am also receiving God’s glorious, unmerited favor. I am favored of God!
Double-woah. (Yes, that is a technical term.)
I get to live in God’s favor everyday! And so do you! If you believe Jesus took the punishment for your sins and gave you His righteousness, you have received God’s grace! Not just his mercy from punishment, but Jesus’ perfect righteousness and God’s unmerited favor! Love Him, and you will keep His commandments and receive the desires of your heart.
Let’s be encouraged in God’s favor! Let’s celebrate today! Let’s live worthy of the calling God has given us (Ephesians 4:1)! We don’t get to believe the implications of the gospel and not be optimistic!
Photo by Rachel Hollis, © RLA Designs