Today’s is different. It’s personal. There is ONE command to keep: Believe Jesus. That’s it. There is nothing else.
1 The wicked flee though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
What we believe makes all the difference in what we fear. When we believe Jesus, we have nothing to fear. In the next chapter, we are going to read, “God is love. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” How does that work?
- Jesus is life- Our job is to believe in the one God sent (John 6:29).
- Jesus gives life:
- He has power over life and death- That He would be killed, but would rise on the third day Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22-23, Matthew 20:17-19.
- His life for our life- Our sins are forgiven because of His sacrifice Luke 24:26-27 (we’ll come back to this one), Acts 2:38, Romans 8:1-2, Hebrews 7:24-25.
- In Him we have eternal Life- He is coming back to get us! John 14:1-3, Revelation 22:7, 12.
- He commands us to follow Him. Doing whatever. Wherever. Whenever. John 21:22b.
If we believe Jesus, we know that we have passed from death to life 1 John 3:14a. Let’s believe Him when:
- We don’t like each other very much.
- Our hearts condemn us. (we can’t believe our hearts–it lies to us Jeremiah 17:9).
- We get confused on what is important: There is nothing we can do to make Jesus love us more than He does; there is nothing we can do to make Him love us any less than He loves us right now. Do we believe this?
Let’s paraphrase verses 23-24 together:
23 And this is his command: to believe in the name and person of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He loves us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands by continuing to believe what Jesus said and acts on His promises lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us who confirms what Jesus said in our hearts and minds, especially using Scripture.
As we go to church today, let us remember that all we have to do is believe in Jesus enough to act upon what the Spirit is telling us to do, and to believe what He is whispering to us all the time: “I love you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), “I rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17), “I will keep you from falling–even stumbling–and will present you before My Father’s glorious presence blameless, without fault, and with great joy” (Jude 24). Let’s worship Him with grateful hearts!
Abba, I appreciate Your words of tenderness. I draw encouragement from them. Knowing that You love me and want the best for me makes me love You even more! Even when I fail, You encourage me to get up and try again. You give me RESOLVE, Lord, to try again in Your strength and with Your assistance. May I learn complete dependence on You, O Holy Spirit. Amen.