In the last blog post, we talked about embracing God’s love. As we studied 1 John 4, we learned how richly loved we are by God as well as what He expects from us. God’s love is transactional. It is not set up to be all about God serving us as we sit and sip our strawberry daiquiris by the pool. We are made to show love in return, to God and to each other.
Today we are going to continue on in 1 John and study chapter 5, verses 1-5. When we embrace God, we are telling God that we need Him. Do you realize how happy this makes Him? This brings music to His ears. Notice what Zephaniah says in Zephaniah 3:17, “For the Lord is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
God understands the need we have for Him. Sin has separated us from His presence. By His Son, we have the ability to come back into His presence and become whole, complete, satisfied. Let’s see what we can learn from these few verses that will help us to hold tight to the God that loves us unconditionally.
John says we become children of God when we believe in Jesus Christ.1 Our first birth, from our mother’s wombs, is stained with sin; read Romans 3:23. When we embrace Christ, we are also embracing God. By coming to Him and confessing our sins, Christ makes us whole, clean, acquitted. We obtain our second birth. Jesus removes us off of death row and places us on heaven’s highway that will take us home to Him. There, we will live in His presence forever.
As God fills our hearts with love, He wants us to show others what He has done through us. Notice what we learn in verses 2 and 3. Loving God means that we will love others, as well as loving what God deems important. We walk obediently in the ways of God by keeping His commandments. What do we discover when we walk obediently? Verse 3 says that “His commandments are not burdensome.” In other words, we will find that following God is not taxing, excruciating to follow, or oppressive in any way.
We also see that “every child of God defeats this evil world.”4 We walk victorious with God when we walk by faith. Life on earth is a battle zone. It has been since Adam and Eve left the Garden due to disobeying God. To be on the winning side, we need Jesus. Verse 5 says that this is the only way, also see John 14:6.
John 5:14-21 continues to show us what happens when we are embracing God with all our might. “We are confident that God hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him.”14
God hears you. God hears your heart.
(Want to have a better understanding of how God walks with you? My book, “God Hears My Heart,” is available for pre-order. See link in tab titled, “Books.” Will be published Spring 2021)
We are called to love others. Verse 16 tells us to pray for our fellow believers that may have become lost. We all have the tendency to veer off of God’s path, and find ourselves distracted by the pleasures of this world. It is good to have friends who will look out for us as well as you looking out for them. We need accountability.
John tells us in verse 18 that “God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely where the evil one cannot touch them.” Think about this: we are the safest when we are in the embrace of our Father’s arms. Why do we need His safety? “The world around us is under the control of the evil one.”19
God is with us. He is everywhere. “We know that the Son of God has come.”20 When we embrace Jesus, and follow His ways, He will give us understanding. This understanding helps us to know God more and more. “We live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and He is eternal life.”20
He is eternal life.
John ends with a warning for us. “Keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”21 We are a fallen race, and we need saving. There are many temptations that will lure us away. Embrace Christ tightly and God will take it from there and lead you home. Until then, God walks with you and helps you to walk as citizens of heaven while on earth. Hold tight to your faith.