This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 (NIV)
Wow! This verse never ceases to amaze me. It spells things out so clearly. How do I love God? Obey Him. AND His commands are not burdensome to obey. So now I ask myself, what are these commands? They aren’t hard to find when you’re looking, and I’ve included several of them below (I italicized parts that really stood out to me). Initially all of these instructions were a little overwhelming, but guess what?! “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
Praise be to God for His infinite wisdom!
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)
…make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 (NIV)
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
Galations 5:22-26 (NIV)
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
I hope you were as encouraged as I was by these scriptures. My prayer for each one of you is that "God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23-34 (NIV)
I love the 1 Thess. 5:23-24 passage; it's in my prayer book to meditate on often. How grateful I am that HE has promised to sanctify us, and we can trust that promise because of His character.
2 Pt. 1:3 is always such an encouragement. Because I can start to think that following Christ is burdensome when I'm living by my own strength, but then I'm reminded that HE gives me all I need.
My dad always says that when you try to do the right thing, God is on your side, but you have to do the wrong thing all on your own (even contrary to the new nature He's given), so it ought to be even easier to live a holy life.
These are a LOT to meditate on. Thanks for the encouragement.
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