AUNT BETTY’S WAY

| TUESDAY 6TH DECEMBER, 2022

Our Daily Bread 2022 Annual Edition

By: Winn Collier

Read: 1 John 5:1–6 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: Daniel 3–4; 1 John 5

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 1 John 5:2

When I was young, whenever my doting Aunt Betty visited, it felt like Christmas. She’d bring Star Wars toys and slip me cash on her way out the door. Whenever I stayed with her, she filled the freezer with ice cream and never cooked vegetables. She had few rules and let me stay up late. My aunt was marvelous, reflecting God’s generosity. However, to grow up healthy, I needed more than only Aunt Betty’s way. I also needed my parents to place expectations on me and my behavior and hold me to them.

God asks more of me than Aunt Betty. While He floods us with relentless love, a love that never wavers even when we resist or run away, He does expect something of us. When God instructed Israel how to live, He provided Ten Commandments, not ten suggestions (Exodus 20:1–17). Aware of our self-deception, God offers clear expectations: we’re to “[love] God and [carry] out his commands” (1 John 5:2).

Thankfully, “[God’s] commands are not burdensome” (v. 3). By the Holy Spirit’s power, we can live them out as we experience God’s love and joy. His love for us is unceasing. But the Scriptures offer a question to help us know if we love God in return: Are we obeying His commands as the Spirit guides us?

We can say we love God, but what we do in His strength tells the real story. 

Read: 1 John 5:1–6 (NIV) 

Faith in the Incarnate Son of God

5 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

INSIGHT

  1. When do you find it most difficult to obey God?

  2. How does this connection between obedience and love offer new insight for your life in Christ?

In 1 John 5, John addresses two of his favorite topics and their relationship to each other: love and God’s commandments. Verse 2 could be considered a summary of John’s theology. Love and obedience are so intertwined that one is considered a demonstration, or proof, of the other.

Sounding much like Jesus when He identified not just the most important, but the two most important commands (see Matthew 22:34–40Mark 12:28–33), John connects the love of God with love of others. He says that anyone who loves the Father “loves his child as well” (1 John 5:1). Obedience to His commandments isn’t just a demonstration of love for God but also shows love for the children of God (vv. 2–3).

In the gospel of John, Jesus tells His disciples that if they love Him, they’ll keep His commands (14:15, 21; 15:10)—one of which was to love one another.

PRAYER

God, I say I love You, but it’s hard to love. It’s hard to obey. Help me see the truth and to love You with my actions. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!!

Read: 1 John 5:1–6 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: Daniel 3–4; 1 John 5

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