Tuesday, January 19, 2016

In Jesus, We Are Victorious! (1 John 5:3-5)

Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God
(1 John 5:3-5, NLT).

I noticed that our love for God is not so much an emotional feeling as it is practical and active. We show our love by our actions, by “keeping his commandments.” This may sound kind of easy, but it’s not always so, is it? Sometimes we may just be too busy thinking about something else, like workloads, worried about how we look or act, or feel tired or sick. At times like these, we need to remember the promise of Jesus Christ: “Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). So, when we’re burned out and feel that God’s commandments are “burdensome” – when we’re exhausted, too busy, or when our feelings get kind of numb, we are promised that, as we share our concerns with Jesus, we will get great relief. We can cast our concerns and burdens upon God, because God really cares about us (read 1 Peter 5:7).

Not only does Jesus promises to give us relief and rest but He also promises to give us strength. No matter what our age, there are times we may just feel like we want to let go of everything and sleeping for days and days. Life can just be too much, and who can care about other people at those times? But as we learn to keep the right balance in our lives – especially as we learn to include God in our plans and put Him at the centre of what is important to us – we will be given new strength we never thought we would have. God’s got enough power and strength to last all of us through our lifetimes! So, God is not one who has imposed a lot of impossible demands and rules on us only to walk out and slam the door. God is right here with us, never leaving us (even at times when we may not feel close to Him), always encouraging and giving us the strength we need to “keeping his [not burdensome] commandments.” God wants what is best for us and wants us to have deeper joy in Him.

And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God Obeying God’s commandments and having faith in Jesus is one and the same, and interrelated – only God’s children will do. Our faith in Jesus brings us great victory: we can overcome and “defeats this evil world” The temptations of the world can be very appealing and alluring. The pressure to be like everyone else – to have certain things and to act in certain ways – can be overpowering. But with God on our side, we “can win this battle against the world.” We don’t need to walk around and act defeated. With God’s help, we are really victorious in life!

If you have ever won some kind of contest (I had once won a musical contest during my university time, battle of the band. Or whatever you had won) you know how great you feel when you win – as if you could conquer the world! That’s the kind of attitude that God wants for us in life – a winning, forward-looking, confident, expecting the best, stretching us to the limit. “We achieve this victory through our faith” in “the Son of God.” If you’re God’s child, you don’t have to feel defeated, inadequate and expecting the worst. In Jesus, you’re victorious! Amen.  


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