One of the marks of a Christian is their desire to keep God’s word. The Bible says, “He who says, ‘I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” But the text goes on to say, “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).
Keeping God’s word is not always easy. We all fail in many ways. However, it is important to know that the Bible is not teaching legalistic perfectionism. The Apostle John is, instead, describing the heart’s desire of a follower of Jesus.
Notice he says, “The love of God is perfected in Him.” The Greek word translated “perfected” means to complete a goal. As such it refers to those whose hearts have matured in their love for God. Because they love God, they desire to keep God’s word.
The word “keep” in this verse is a derivative of a word that sailors once used to refer to their practice of steering their course by “keeping” the stars. This did not mean, of course, that a sailor would not be blown off course or that he might not over-steer. It didn’t mean that he might not nod-off at the wheel, or somehow be distracted, or fail to keep a perfect chart. But the goal, the aim, the desire, and the controlling principle in his life were those stars. He knew that with them he could find direction to his destination.
In the same way, John says God’s commandments are to be the standard by which you and I chart the course of our life. Such a person, we are told, has the love of God perfected in him.
I believe we would all admit that there have been times in our life where we have fallen-asleep at the wheel, or have allowed ourselves to be distracted from God’s word, or allowed the circumstances of life to blow us off course. However, because of our love for God, we woke up, or decided to pay attention to where we were going, and adjusted accordingly by looking up and getting a correct bearing on life.
Maybe as you read this, you realize you have been blown of course for a while, or have been distracted, or maybe you just dosed off. Fear not. God loves you. Look to His word. He’ll help you get back on course.