Brothers and Sisters,
(1 John 5:2-3) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
The litmus test for someone who says they love God is if they keep his commandments. We have preached in the Baptist church for so long that we are not saved by works and I agree with that statement 100%, but the truth is that if we love God, we will do our best to keep His commandments.
Our text verses for today’s devotion says that his commandments are not grievous. According to Strong’s Concordance that word “grievous” means “burdensome or heavy”. I have heard so many people over the years refer to the commandments of God as being hard to keep, but is that true?
Jesus said the greatest of all the commandments was to love God. (Mark 12:28-30) And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
So let me ask you this morning, do you find it “grievous” “burdensome or heavy” to love God? After all, God is the one who created you. He is the one who gave you life. He supplies all your needs. (Philippians 4:19) But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I think we could all agree this morning that it is very easy to love God.
Jesus said the second commandment was like the first. (Mark 12:31) And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Now let me ask you this, do you find it “grievous” “burdensome or heavy” to love your neighbor as yourself? Well first, who is your neighbor? In response to this question, Jesus gave us the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. I would encourage you to read that text again.
I guess we could all say that it is more difficult to love our neighbor than it is to love God, but should it be? The fact that God is perfect, sinless and holy makes it easy to love Him, but how do we love our fellow man who is a sinner like us? There is really only one way, (Romans 5:5) …because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. The only way to love our neighbor is to have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. This is what happens when we are “born again” and unless an individual has received the new birth, they will never be able to keep these two very important commandments.
Let me finish this morning be directing your attention back to our text verses in I John. We know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments and his commandments are not grievous. Once we love God and our neighbor as ourselves, all of the other commandments are wrapped up in these two.