1 John 3:21-22

The end of government as we know it?

1 John 3:21-22
“21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.”

These verses are so wrapped up by the verses that proceed and follow (click on the link for verses 16 – 24). Taken in isolation from context, it might sound like God is a vending machine of blessings that we think we want. No, it’s not that at all because it hinges on “because we keep His commands, and do what pleases Him.”

How does that work? Verse 24 paraphrased says the Holy Spirit lives in us as proof that we keep his commands because we live in Christ, and He lives in us when we do. Verse 23 lays out those commands again: “And this is his command: to believe In the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” To believe in Christ, the promises he makes, and to love each other as we love ourselves.

So what does that have to do with a doubting heart? Verses 18 – 20 from The Message read “18My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. 19this is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. 20It’s also the way to shutdown debilitating self-criticism, even when there’s something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” “A man may believe that God is gracious before he knows it; yet when faith has laid hold on the promises, it sets reason to work.” (Matthew Henry Consise Bible Commentary), or we might think it before we know it. We are being urged to know it in our hearts.

And what is real love? Here is the core, here is the foundation of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit: “16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Does your heart condemn you? Be freed by Christ and the Holy Spirit. Know, truly know God and truly act, take action, do, as God commands us to – love, give, sacrifice (care) for others less fortunate than yourself.

The end of government as we know it? Imagine if there was no need for social welfare programs because we were all committed to each others well being. Imagine if that subjected class (here in the US they are a powerful voting block) were loved as Christ loves us. Imagine.

We are called to this, yet we have these “issues” throughout the world. If we followed the commands the implications are mind boggling, the disruption galactic.

I think it’s obvious why we have doubting hearts and that we need to make the difficult road the one more traveled. God is with us, we should not fear, right? “18Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

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