This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
– 1 John 3:23
This is one of those verses that can serve as an encapsulation of the entire Bible. We can thank God for such capsules, for without them, it could be excessively tedious to try to understand the huge collection of varied literature that is the Bible.
There are two parts to this verse. First, God commands us to “believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.” To believe is to “trust,” rely upon,” “depend on.” This means to believe 1) that He is, and 2) in what He says. To believe “that He is” means believing that He is alive – that He was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, that He is not dead anymore. To believe “in what He says” means believing that Jesus is not just a speechless idol, not just a mute icon – but that as He is living, so also He speaks. Yes, He spoke (as we can read in the four Gospels of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), but that He also still speaks even today. He still speaks through His Holy Spirit in our hearts. And nothing He says through the Holy Spirit will contradict what He said as recorded in the four Gospels.
The second part of the verse speaks to the direction our faith in the name of Christ leads us: to love Him and love each other. Jesus taught love as 1) loving the Lord above all, 2) loving each other as ourselves. Further, Jesus epitomized love. That is, He didn’t just preach it; He practiced it. And after He’d fully practiced it, He further explained that we should love one another even as He had loved us – which is to the point of death. It’s one thing to shower this kind of love on people who love you, but Jesus taught us to love our enemies as well.
Therefore, the verse for our meditation today is worthy of memorization. It reminds us of what God wants us to consider essential.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, thank You for giving us summarizations of Your messages to us. They help us organize our minds and keep them in order. I believe in Your name today and I am committed to loving You and others today as You’ve commanded…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)