1Jn 5:3-5 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
When we truly and deeply love someone nothing is too much to ask of us. We will go to great lengths to prove our love for a companion, a child, or sometimes even a friend. Yet we often balk at the keeping of God’s commandments. Keeping His commandments sometimes requires sacrifice on our part, and we appear to be offended when He asks this of us. We forget (or ignore) Paul’s teaching that presenting our bodies a living sacrifice to God is our reasonable service. John assures us that His commandments are not burdensome (grievous).
The reason His commands are not burdensome is because keeping them is the love of God. Keeping His commandments is our love toward Him. We need to also realize that keeping His commandments is His love toward us. God has given His commandments to us, not because He is some tyrant to be appeased by making people do what He wants, but because keeping His commandments is good for us. The better we are at keeping God’s commandments the better we are at living an abundant life. This abundant life is not in amassing a great quantity of this world’s goods, ideas, or approval.
We are living an abundant life in keeping the commandments of God because we are victorious in overcoming the world rather than yielding to it. I am not talking about just avoiding the obvious sins in the world but in overcoming our bent to self-righteousness and the notion that God somehow loves us better than He loves others. Overcoming the world is the result of being born of God. We cannot even think of overcoming the world until He has wrought in us His regenerating power. We don’t have to be concerned that He will start something and not finish it either. He that has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Overcoming the world is not the victory; being granted the faith to overcome the world is the victory.
Faith is a gift from God. Our God-given faith assures us that He loves us and we love Him. This faith moves us to keep His commandments as it teaches us that His commandments are not grievous. Our faith is rooted in our steadfast confidence that Jesus is the Son of God. Those whose faith (belief, confidence) rests in the truth that Jesus is the Son of God are the people that overcome the world. We are not burdened by the desire to “keep up with the Joneses.” Having people think that we are some great prophet and servant of God is not the force that motivates us. We are not victims of the self-righteous notion that our faith somehow makes us less of a sinner than others. We know in our hearts that the victory of our faith that allows us to overcome all the subtleties of the world rests in our assurance that Jesus is the Son of God.
May we praise Him for His love that gives us the victory and makes us more than conquerors through Jesus Christ!