1 John 5 • Devotion #1: Working Properly

Have you ever have had an inanimate object not function to the specifics of its designed purpose? Let us all be honest; we all have. There is something about a stove that does not heat, a light that does not light, a dishwasher that does not wash, or a pen that does not write that brings frustration, anger, and at times, disposal of said object. Sadly, I am quick to throw things away instead of trying to fix them. I am truly in awe to anyone who can fix a thing broken. The hard thing about objects that are not working properly is that if you keep using the object that is broken, over time, the brokenness becomes worse.  

John has always been a fascinating person to study in the Bible. I had always felt when John was writing his Gospel, that he was a young man, full of energy, emotions, and poetic ways of describing how his Jesus lived. Fast forward to 1 John; I feel John has become an old, wise, and a bit more straight forward. John echoes a statement that Jesus Himself said. We read 1 John 5:3, “And his commandments are not burdensome.” Jesus says in Matthew chapter 11 that “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”(verse 30). The amazing truth that Jesus and John are communicating is that living for God should not be difficult, heavy, or burdensome. 

Now, if you almost threw your book, phone, or digital device across the room, hear me out. Living for Jesus was never meant to be a burdensome, heavy load. The reason why living for God, honoring Him in our actions, loving people like Jesus, serving others like Jesus, or simply not losing your temper on your family becomes so difficult is because our hearts are not functioning to the specifics of its designed purpose. God created man to be sinless with nothing between Him and us, but sin came into the world. At that moment, our hearts were no longer functioning properly, thus making the one thing we were made to do now burdensome and impossible. 

Trying to do anything apart from the love of Jesus is impossible. Trying to live a life without God is like ice skating uphill. Are you trying to live for Jesus, but it seems like it is always difficult? To get to a place where living for God is not burdensome, you have to look at your relationship with God. Jesus did not make living for Him burdensome because He did all the heavy lifting for us. He died on the cross, He rose again, and He gave us the gift of salvation. God did all the work and gave us new hearts. It is amazing to think that God does not throw us away because we are broken, but He fixes our hearts allowing us to work properly. 

Are you at a place where you have given your heart to Jesus? Do you believe that He died on a cross and rose again three days later, but it is seemingly burdensome to live for Jesus? It is time to re-examine your relationship with God. Living for God is not void of work. Before sin entered the world, God instructed Adam to work in Eden, but that work was not burdensome or hard. While we are still called to “show our works,” that work of living for Jesus is not meant to be heavy.  

If you still see living for God as a burden, relook at 1 John 5:1-2, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” Believe that Jesus has done all the work on the cross, believe that God loves you, and believe in His grace. We function properly when we believe fully. 

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