John continues to repeat his main message; belief in Jesus is the entrance ticket into eternal life. Verses 1-5: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1-5) and belief will lead to love and love means obedience to God’s command.
The comment, his commands are not burdensome, in verse 3 caught my attention. I had to pause and ponder that for awhile. Surely John is not saying that following God’s commands are a snap. Given all John’s warnings about not sinning, we must give effort to our carrying out of God’s commands, which do not come naturally to sin-stained humans. I pondered some more. What does it mean to be not burdensome?
An image emerged. About a month ago, I was watching superior world class athletes compete in the Olympics. Lindsay Vann, Shawn White and Shannie Davis received a great deal of
This athletic metaphor helped me understand what John was alluding to.
Keeping God’s commands requires energy. It can be a battle some days as my selfish flesh resists God’s commands, but through it all, it is not burdensome to give my all to Jesus. God, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, has worked a change in my heart. The Spirit living in me constantly testifies to the truth of God’s way (6) and this internal Spirit witness removes the ‘burden’ and instills desire to live for Jesus…
This thought helps me… I hope it helps you.
Thank You, Holy Spirit, for being the giver of life, the speaker of truth, and my ever-present counselor. Thank You, Spirit, for the strength You provide, for the witness to Jesus that You offer and for the motivation You give to follow the commands of God through love.
Lord, I don’t fully understand how You make it all work but I am thankful that You have placed in me the desire to love and serve You. Help that desire grow every day of my life, this side of eternity. I pray this in the name of the Father and in the name of Jesus and in the name of the Holy Spirit. Amen