This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us (1 John 3:23).
God’s eternal acceptance of us does not hinge on our ability to meet legal standards – divine or human. Does such grace mean we no longer have to concern ourselves with God’s rules? No way.
Christians are compelled by God’s love to honor him as he desires. How do we express our love for God?
We love those that Jesus loves. Since Christians bear the name of Christ, we honor him by loving his people – even the difficult and desperate ones.
John says those who believe in the name of Jesus love one another, “as he has commanded us.” The Apostle Paul echoes, “The whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” These apostles echo Jesus, who taught that the greatest commandment is to love God, which requires that we love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39).
We don’t love others because they deserve it, but because Christ deserves our obedience. We don’t gain God’s love by obeying his commands, but we show our love for him by obeying the commands that guide and guard all who are dear to him.
Honoring him is not simply about being right in religious understanding or practice; it is about being right in relationships. If you’re not, he provides grace to forgive you, and to help you love those he loves.
Prayer: Father, as I encounter others today, help me to share the love you have extended to me through grace I do not deserve. May I honor you by loving all whom Jesus loves.