By Stan Brown
I John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
In context, the love of God speaks of our love for God as the previous verse indicates. Yet the concepts of our love for Him and His love for us cannot truly be separated. After all, love is sourced in God. In fact, God is love. As John uses the word commandments for the final two times in this letter, he intertwines God's love and God’s holiness together in each of His commandments. If we love Him it will be shown in the tangible way of doing what He says. John then says that these commandments are not burdensome which stands in stark contrast to what Jesus had to say about the rules laid down by the religious leaders of His day, “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger (Matt. 23:4). The seeming freedoms that the world offers are in reality destructive, heavy weights. Jesus said Matt. 11:30 “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” This does not mean that we will never face difficult things in this life but those difficulties have nothing to do with what Jesus asks us to do. He offers to relieve our burdens rather than add to them. God is not in the business of making things difficult for us.
Jesus describes these commandments, as acts of love when He says “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. (Matt:22:37)’ As the first tablet of the law demands, we will express our love for Him by placing Him as the one and only supreme authority in our lives, indeed the One with whom we fellowship on a continual basis and we must never make light of that relationship. We serve the God who is Holy and as we love Him, we will do what He says. After all He loves us with supreme love.
Jesus also describes these commandments as acts of love as He says, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF’ (Matt. 22:39). The second tablet of the Law demands that we express God’s love in our dealings with each other. When we love God, we will love each other. We love God in response to His magnificent love for us. We love one another as His love flows out in our lives. His holiness requires that we live in accordance with the commands that express that holiness. His love requires that we live in accordance with His commandments because they offer what is best for us. God’s holiness and love can never be separated. Everything He does streams out of His character in which holiness and love are perfectly interwoven.
God is love. God is light. He offers to alleviate the burdens of this life with perfect fellowship with the One who is both love and light casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1Pet. 5:7).