1 John 3:23
 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. (ESV)
1 John is a short book. 5 short chapters. It is one of the books of the Bible you should read again and again. John reminds us of what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. There are three key words that this verse gives us. These words are: obey, believe, love. Yes, I realize the word obey is not in the verse, but the word "command" is. And what are we to do with Christ's commands? Obey!
For many people who claim to follow Christ the word "obey" is not in their vocabulary. We like to think that we are to do whatever we want and God should just be ok with it. We live lives that are defined by disobedience, and yet we offer up worship to God. There is a major contradiction in our lives when we embrace both disobedience and worship at the same time.
1 Samuel 15:22
 And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. (ESV)
We are to believe in the name of the Son Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus Christ? My son once thought that Christ was Jesus' last name. The word itself means "Anointed One," or "Chosen One," in the Greek. The Hebrew equivalent is "Messiah." Christ is a title. It says that Jesus is the messiah, the chosen one. He alone is worthy of glory and honor. He is our Savior. Many want to diminish who Jesus is. We must believe that he is who he said he was. He is the Christ.
We are to love one another. This idea of love needs more clarification. Who are we to love? If the command to love was just for those who treat us lovingly we would be all set. It is easy to love those who love us. But, we are called to love like Jesus loved. How was that? Jesus loved those who hated him. Jesus prayed for those who crucified him. We pat ourselves on the back, thinking that we love others. Jesus' command to love includes people who hate us and hurt us.
Three simple words: obey, believe, love. Not so simple to live. Dear Jesus, please help us to follow your commands. We will need to rely completely on you to accomplish this. Amen.