This is how we know we love God's children: when we love God and obey his commands.
Loving God means obeying his commands. And God's commands are not too hard for us,
1st John 5:2-3
And God gives us what we ask for because we obey God's commands and do what pleases him.
This is what God commands: that we believe in his Son, Jesus Christ,
and that we love each other, just as he commanded.
The people who obey God's commands live in God, and God lives in them.
We know that God lives in us because of the Spirit God gave us.
1st John 3:22-24
"Obeying God's commands" honestly makes me think of Old Testament, trudging through the dessert, following God's commands and offering animal sacrifices. Just a little extreme... But the fact is, God's commands still stand today. We are to love God above all else; there is to be no other God than him. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, respect our parents, not kill people and steal from them. God can even command something to just you alone; maybe he's spoken to you to go here... do this... speak to that person. And it's not that God is high in the sky ruling sternly over us with his mighty staff. His commands are there to help us, to guide us in a path of holiness pursuit.
What I love about these 2 passages from 1st John is that there is reward and promises received in following God's commands. We are to first and for most love God for him alone and all that he is. We then follow his commands because we love him; regardless of reward or not. And in following those commands, we receive the things we ask for because of our obedience. That's how amazing of a God he is!
As it says in his word, that his commands are not too hard for us. Chapter 5, verse 4 of 1st John goes on to say, "because everyone who is a child of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world — our faith." Adversity may come and the enemy may try to set up road blocks in our ways of following God and keeping his commands, but we can do it. Have faith. His commands are not hard; it can be done. When the enemy tries to trip us up, it's him that makes it difficult. It's the enemy that makes following God seem harder. But we can rise to the challenge because it is our faith that will conquer. EVERYONE who is a child of God conquers the world. Are you a child of God? Then you CAN do it. You can keep his commands, you can conquer the world, you are more than a conquerer through Christ Jesus, and in keeping God's commands there will be blessing for obeying.
I had a really amazing past week! It was very eventful and filled with awesome people. I've been exploring new places, swimming in lakes, and soaking up all the sun my pale skin can handle. Summer in Missouri has been rewarding and God has already done more than I've imagined in the month that I've been back. The best is yet to come and I couldn't be more excited about it. I hope your 4th of July was celebratory and you have an awesome week ahead!
❤ Ariel Christine