The Greatest Commandments.
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. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
The two greatest commandments given to us by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39 are, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” When we repented of our sin and believed the gospel we received the Holy Spirit and the capacity to love God and love people (Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 John 4:19). The Apostle John instructs each believer how to express love to God and people in our text today.
We express love to people by loving God and obeying His commands. We need to learn to love people. Jesus commanded the Apostles to teach every disciple to obey everything He commanded them. He commanded them to teach each disciple how to express love to people.
An example of expressing love to people is given us in Matthew 5:23-24, "So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." We are commanded to be reconciled to our brother who has something against us. Taking action to heal broken relationships is expressing love to people.
We express love to God by obeying (“keeping” means “obeying”). We express love to God by obeying His commands. Remember, expressing love to God is not burdensome.
An example of expressing love to God is given us in Luke 18:1. Jesus commanded each believer to always pray and not lose heart. We can confidently go to God in prayer and receive grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Grace to help means we receive what we need to help us as a gift from God. There is no burden in going to God to have our needs met.
We can love God and people by faith at any time rather than only when we feel like it. We are not hypocrites when we express love void of feeling love, because we are obeying God’s commands from a sincere faith in God. Saving faith obeys. When we obey we express love to God and people.
May you love others by obeying God's commandments.
Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures:
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