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Joyful obedience

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 1 John 5:1-2 NLT

Once again from the text, John reminds his readers that it is by believing in God by faith that we become His children. Once our relationship with God has been established, we will not ignore His commands. We find the joy of obeying God for we know that a true child of the Father will not disregard His Word. It is tragic if someone claims having a relationship with God yet disobey His commands. Same is true with reluctance and resentful disobedience. God desires that our obedience comes from a grateful heart. He does not want us to obey out of necessity or fear. Joyful obedience is a result of a realization that we are serving a loving Father. When we love God, we become His vessels of love. We are joyful in extending ourselves to others, loving others for we know that we are God’s children. So, we love not with empty words but with willing actions. One of the tests that we can apply to ourselves if we are growing in our spiritual walk with God is our willingness to obey God’s commands. “And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him” (1 John 2:3-5). Our love for God leads us to obey His commands and love for His children. John continues to reiterate the example that our Lord Jesus Christ has provided for His disciples. “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love” (John 15:10). Christ’s love to the Father led Him to obey even in His death at the cross. Christ had shown to us that it was because of His joyful obedience to the Father that He took the way of suffering towards the cross of calvary. “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame” (Hebrews 12:2). This is why before Jesus proceeded to the cross, He told His disciples that they too will find joy if they will be true to their commitment to living their lives for God. “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (1 John 15:11).



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