Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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October 25 – The Blessed Commandment Of God

“And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us.  Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”  1 John 3:23,24

Devotional Thought For The Day

What exactly is a “commandment”?  Well, it is an injunction, an authoritative instruction, a precept or statute.  Whenever we hear this word our minds tend to go immediately to the Ten Commandments, and we are reminded of the high standard of love that we fail to fulfill each day.  This is not as bad as it seems – if we know what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, and what He promises to those who repent, who confess their sins, and who have faith and trust in Christ Jesus.  God so loved the world [and this includes each of us] that He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.  Our sins, all our failures to keep the Ten Commandments, have been “taken away” by Jesus, by His suffering and death on the cross, and by His glorious resurrection.  Though we deserve condemnation and eternal punishment, whoever grasps onto God’s gracious love, mercy, and forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ “shall not come into condemnation but has passed from death to life.” [John 5:24]

This faith, which is the gift of God [Eph. 2:8,9], is a powerful thing.  It recreates, reshapes, reinvigorates hearts and minds.  Such faith is a deep and ongoing experience of God’s love – and it creates, compels, and empowers us to love others.  “We love because He first loved us.” [1 Jn. 4:19] So God’s “commandment” is all about His love for us, His desire that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth [1 Tim. 2:4], that all people experience the renewing power of His love, be renewed in His image [God is love], and become “lovers” of others.  So John states it simply:  “And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us” [in accord with His Word, Holy Scripture]. Whoever believes in Jesus, grasps God’s great love for us in His beloved Son, our Savior, will also love others – this is the power and dynamic of His love for us, received through faith, and the gift of His Spirit Who abides in us.

We continue to focus on His Ten Commandments – they are the very definition of genuine love for God and love for neighbor.  As we do so, we continue to recognize our imperfections at love – and so we continue to confess our sins and to believe in the Name of Jesus Christ, for “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 Jn. 1:9]  Our experience of His perfect love casts out all fear [1 Jn. 4:18], and compels us to intrepid love for others, a love which continues to grow, from the inside out, by the power of God’s love for us – which we experience through faith in Jesus.  THIS IS HIS COMMANDMENT – and it is all good, all good for us, and all good also for all who live around us.  It is His will – our salvaging, our salvation, the renewing of His creation, and it is eternal!  This is such great blessedness that it can scarce be adequately described – for it means that God is dwelling in us and we are dwelling in Him.

Again, this is the gift of God, by His grace, and not a matter of our works, “lest anyone should boast.” [Eph. 2:8,9] It is our greatest blessing that by His love for us, through the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are privileged to participate and live in His commandment, His gracious mercy, love, and salvation!

Prayer For The Day

Thanks and praise be to You, Lord Jesus Christ, for the great gift of life and salvation that You have given us in Your suffering, death, and resurrection!  Thank You, dear Lord, for including us in Your gracious will, bringing us to repentance, to faith and joy, and bringing the power of Your love into our lives.  Grant that we abide in this Your commandment – and the great blessedness and joy of abiding in You.  Amen.