2 John 6 “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.”

Observation: We are unsure whether John was writing to an individual believer or to a church, but the book makes three primary points: (1) a commandment to love one another, (2) an affirmation for walking in truth, and (3) a caution against false teachers. Regarding love, John’s message here is consistent with every other message on this subject in Scripture. Love is not an emotion, not a feeling.   Love is God’s way of behavior. John said this is not new information; it is the same message that has been taught from the beginning of the Book.

Application: John’s definition of love is so specific, so precise, that there is no room for misinterpretation: keep God’s commandments. The very precision of the definition excludes all the gushy, soft, flesh-motivated ways we embrace as alternatives to love. Keep His commandments. Nothing less counts as love.

John also said, twice, that this is what they’d heard “from the beginning.” It is the great unifying theme of the whole Bible, both Old and New Testaments. God is love, and if I love Him I will keep His commandments (John 14:15). Nothing else counts. He is the One who made me. It is He who redeemed me, and He has the right to set all the rules. My opinion doesn’t matter; my feelings don’t count. “I Did It My Way” won’t be in heaven’s Top 40. 

My works done apart from Him will be consumed by fire. Period. Everything I aspire to, all I dream of apart from fulfillment in Him is utterly worthless and will be destroyed. As if to punctuate the certainty of the futility of resisting this core message, I am reminded of Jeremiah 37, where some in besieged Jerusalem hoped the attacking Chaldeans would yet fail. But Jeremiah laid that to rest with these words from the Lord: “For even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire” (Jer. 37:10). The people were being besieged because they did not love God enough to obey his commands.

Prayer: Lord God, Your message today leaves no wiggle room at all. My flesh resists Your narrow way, Lord; I search for any way but Yours to achieve my dreams, to fulfill my needs, but You could not be clearer: those things do not interest You, do they? Forgive me, Lord. Draw me back to Your commandments.  Draw me back to true love. In Jesus’ name.