30 May, 2015

1st John 5:3

1 John  5:3 says, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and that His commandments are not burdensome (some translations; grievous)."
When we think of worship, a key figure we often look to is David in the First Testament. When we find out that he wrote most of the Psalms, we immediately assume that He had a passion for the Lord like no one else. We read Psalm 42 and we see, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs for You." We see in Psalm 104, "Bless the Lord, oh my soul. O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty." I think one of the most telling signs of his love for God is in Psalm 119.
Psalm 119 has provoked my thoughts for years. We often go to this psalm with internal application of how we should love the Bible and read it more. However, most people take this passage at the beginning of their sermons and then they turn to the NEW Testament. It puzzled me; David didn't have the New Testament. David said in verse 97 of Psalm 119, "Oh how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day." 
I realized that when David wrote this Psalm, He was looking towards the first five books of our Bible. Genesis through Deuteronomy. He was simply reading the Law of God. Literally, the part where God is telling His people through Moses what to do and what not to do. I don't know about you, but that section of the Bible is probably the hardest for me to read.
When we take into account that David is writing these psalms out of His love for God, we can know that David, being a man after God's own heart, was also in love with the Law of the Lord. We can take this a step further and look back at our passage in 1st John. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and that His commandments are not burdensome."
Loving God is so important. Jesus says that loving God sums up all the law and the prophets. If we truly love God, we won't do anything that offends Him. He question becomes, "How do I love God?" The answer is simple, yet delicate. Yes, legalism is wrong, but it is crystal clear that we love God by obeying His commands. Samuel tells Saul, "to obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22)." How can we love God and reject what He tells us to do? We see here that if we love God, we will do what He has commanded us to do (1st John is a great diving board into this subject).
Yet, the reason I love this passage is that it doesn't just say to love God through obedience, but willful obedience. Ultimate sanctification is to be joyful doing he will of God. When He commands us to do something, we say in our hearts, "What a pleasure!"
So in our desire to love God, we see that we do so is by keeping His commands. And when we ask in what manner we keep His commands, we understand that we are to keep His commands with joy, and they are not to be burdensome.
This is the goal of our sanctification. While we are on earth, the Spirit is drawing us closer to the Lord so that we may love Him more and more, and in this process, He is giving us a desire to love God more and more through obedience to His Law with gladness. That's my prayer, for I understand that I am in fault of this message and my desire is to love God with gladness in all that I do. My prayer for you is the same.