Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God. Whoever loves someone who is a parent loves the child born to the parent. This is how we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep God’s commandments. This is the love of God: we keep God’s commandments. God’s commandments are not difficult, because everyone who is born from God defeats the world. And this is the victory that has defeated the world: our faith. Who defeats the world? Isn’t it the one who believes that Jesus is God’s Son? I write these things to you who believe in the name of God’s Son so that you can know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence that we have in our relationship with God: If we ask for anything in agreement with his will, he listens to us. If we know that he listens to whatever we ask, we know that we have received what we asked from him. If anyone sees a brother or sister committing a sin that does not result in death, they should pray, and God will give life to them—that is, to those who commit sins that don’t result in death. There is a sin that results in death—I’m not saying that you should pray about that. Every unrighteous action is sin, but there is a sin that does not result in death. We know that everyone born from God does not sin, but the ones born from God guard themselves, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. We know that God’s Son has come and has given us understanding to know the one who is true. We are in the one who is true by being in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols! (1 John 5:1-5, 13-21, CEB)
“This is how we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep God’s commandments.” We are God’s children when we love God and keep God’s commandments.
So what are God’s commandments?
Is this the 613 Levitical Laws?
Is this the 10 Commandments?
Is this Love God and Love Neighbor?
Because not long after the statement I started this devotion with the author of 1 John says, “God’s commandments are not difficult,” Well that isn’t what Jesus said. The way Jesus expanded the 10 commandments he basically made them impossible for us to keep. So how are the easy? And if it is only Love God and Love neighbor, we even screw that up. We don’t always put God first and there are people in this world we do not love. (At least I can say there are people in the world I really don’t like, but I work on loving than as God loves me.)
So maybe that is why people are leaving the church because those who claim to be apart of the church aren’t always loving.
Maybe we need to try harder to love.
Loving People. Loving God.