16 February 2013

1 John 5:1-21

"For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." (v. 3)


No one can accuse John of not getting his message across. At times he seems like a broken record as he repeats the above verse in many different ways throughout the letter. John certainly would have made a good preacher as he obeys the old maxim:

  1. Tell people what you are going to tell them.
  2. Tell people.
  3. Tell people what you have just told them.

But how   are we to love? Different parts of the Bible offer various suggestions, but look at what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. As you read the verses, replace the word love with your own name. Here is something to live up to.

John ends this passage by way of encouragement. To attempt to love our brothers and sisters can lead to exhaustion, but we are given the strength of Christ in order to carry it out. God's love for us means that "his commandments are not burdensome".

To Ponder

  • Many newspapers print the 'Love is ...' cartoon by Kim Casali. On a single frame there is the phrase "Love is", followed by a definition or example of what love is, and an accompanying drawing of a couple to  illustrate it. Think up some examples for yourself of what 'love is ...'
  • How can you and/or your church put into practice what 'love is ...'?
  • Think of times when you have given love to someone, only to receive greater in return. What might that tell you about the love of God?

Bible notes author

Ken Kingston

Ken Kingston preaches in the High Wycombe Circuit. He has worked for the Connexional Team since 1992 in a variety of roles and has been involved in 'Called by Name' and 'Time to Talk of God' amongst others.