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Love that Overcomes

1 John 5:3-5
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (NIVUK)

True love is not sentimental, trying to generate and preserve as many good feelings as possible. The love of God is practical and always achieves His objectives perfectly (the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ is the best example of that): and our love for God is marked by obedience to His commands. God's instructions are not too heavy for us, but they will demand that we rearrange our priorities and re-order our desires.

It is God's intention that we should overcome the world, including the spiritual influences which are positively anti-Christ. The method is not through threats or force, but by receiving love from God and loving Him in return with consistent obedience which holds firm to what the Lord has commanded. Believing in Jesus Christ is a practical matter because it means refusing to obey the world’s instructions to dishonour our Lord.

The world is not spiritually neutral. It is impregnated with the 'lust of the eyes', the 'lust of the flesh', and the 'pride of life' (1 John 2:16) which are not from Father God. They all seek to grab what they can to satisfy 'self', and are opposed to God's principle to graciously and feely give to His children so that their needs are met. The love which overcomes the world is the love we need to keep on receiving from God; otherwise we will be tempted to get what we want for ourselves.

We start to overcome the world by learning to receive God's love and trusting Him to meet our needs. That is why we need to pray about our needs and desires, putting our lives before Him, so that when He answers we will know that it is God who has poured His love on us yet again. As we get more practised in receiving love we will also learn to love Him by obeying Him. Only those who have trusted in Jesus Christ can love Him in such a way that the vain principles of the world are shown up as hollow and worthless. That is our challenge every working day

Loving Lord. Thank You for loving me. Forgive me for failing to receive Your love, and for failing to obey You as a mark of my gratitude. Please help me to pray specifically about my circumstances and welcome You to minister to me. As I recognise Your love please help me to give You thanks by obeying You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams