Love that is perfected in Christ is made visible in deeds. If we want to have confidence in the day of judgment, then we should let our love be perfected in Christ and express itself, because when love is perfected within us then we will have confidence for the day of judgment (1 Jn 4:17). “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.” (1 Jn 4:21-5:2) His command? Love one another so that others will know we belong to Him.
Yesterday we said that when we love and serve others, we are serving Jesus (Matt 25:31-36). Our faith is not only to save us from an eternity in the lake of fire, it is to have an abundant life here on earth. We can have an abundant life here on earth if we follow His commands. We must have faith that living as He tells us to live is what’s best for us, and allows Him to use us to further His kingdom. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 Jn 5:3-5)
Consider what is involved in this phrase “the world”. Think of the moral pressures that we face in the world today, the outlook and standards of the godless society that is surrounding us, constantly intruding upon our consciousness with tremendous pressure to make us conform to these attitudes and standards of life. Think of the temptation to cheat and lie; to get ahead at all costs; to be dishonest, not only in filling out our income tax but in every aspect of business. Another common pressure that comes upon us from the world is to be sexually immoral, which is especially evident among the young and the unmarried. We are encouraged to feed the fire and satisfy the urge, though it may be wrong and deadly. The pressures around us are tremendous these days, seemingly overpowering at times. There is the pressure to harbor wrong ideas, to react against others the way the world reacts, to strike back and give as good as you get, to be resentful and jealous, to be ambitious and cruel. Don’t we feel all this? The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—all this is of the world.
How do we overcome the totally different standards, objectives and evaluations of the world, and go on day after day, living a life that is absolutely contrary to that? How do we keep unmoved in the midst of this and not only remain unmoved, but reach out and win others to Christ? John says it is “by faith”; by faith in the life of Jesus present in us now. By faith in Him at work in us, in the midst of the pressure, countering it with the pressure of His own life.
If we give in, if we reflect the same attitudes and actions as the world, we have succumbed to the world and to the wiles of the devil. We have lost our testimony and all power to witness. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:2) But if our dependence is on the life of the Son of God, His life is in us perfecting our love (1 Jn 4:17), and He “is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb 2:18). Then, “this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith”.
Lord, I thank You for the weapons You provide that are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of You, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. You call us to battle against the subtle and devious forces of a worldly age by standing firm in Your love and truth, and to share Your light with others, both believers and non-believers. Grant that I might have renewed faith in Your power and move out to meet the world in a venture of faith that makes every day a thrilling adventure because I know that You are always with me. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.