In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3
Following various organizations can be a challenge for some people. The organization will have a lot of rules and regulations that a person must follow. Some of these commands may be how a person dresses, where he can go, what he can do, how he must speak, how much it may cost, and many other rules. The number of rules can become a challenge and a heavy burden for many people. They may even keep some people from joining.
Many people in the world see following God in this same way. They see what they think are many rules and commands that they must follow. This is often seen because people in the church lay out a long list of commands a person must follow in order to believe in Jesus or be a member of the church. In order to love God a person must do all of those commands. Some of these may be: how a person dresses, which bible translation he reads, where he goes to church, how much he must give to the church, and many other commands.
John states that to love God is to keep His commands, and that His commands are not a heavy burden. All of God’s commands are summed up in loving God and loving other people. This is not a lot of commands. They are simple. Do what is best for God and for others.
When a person gets wrapped up in lots of commands, he loses the sight of love for God. He sees God as a harsh dictator and not a loving Father. Then it becomes hard to love God or others.
In loving God one will turn from sin and be His witness to the world. He will want to tell everyone about Jesus first and foremost. It will be his focus in life.
Focus your life on loving God and loving others. As you do that you will fulfill His commands, to love God and others.
As you love God and others, God will give you the strength to turn away from sin and to be His witness in this world. Turning from sin and obeying God will no longer be a burden, but a great joy.
How are you at loving God today?
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God; that you will find joy and strength in loving God; that you will love others as God loves them; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to the world.
“My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me.” Micah 6:3
God is asking them a simple question as to how He has been a burden to the. He had provided everything that they had needed since they were brought out of Egypt. God had given them land, food, and victory over their enemies many times. Yet, the Israelites chose to follow and serve other false gods.
People like to say that it is difficult to live as a Christian because there seems to be so many different rules. They see God as a harsh judge that just requires people to follow difficult rules and allows for no freedom.
Churches can often make this seem like the truth, that God is harsh. Rules are often made up on how a person is supposed to live and what he can and cannot do, that are not in the Bible. Some of these rules have been: cannot go to a movie theatre, cannot dance, cannot play cards, and the list goes on. These types of things can push a person away from God, rather than drawing him near.
Along with those types of rules, many churches or people are legalistic in following God. There is no grace or mercy involved. In himself, no person can completely live up to God’s standards. God has provided salvation through Jesus, not through a man’s work.
The only burden that God has put on you is to love and obey Him and love your neighbor. When you are doing these two things, everything that is done will done with joy. It becomes a joy to spend time in prayer talking to the one who loves you perfectly. It becomes a joy being able to share the gospel message with someone else. It becomes a joy when you can help another person in their time of need. It becomes a joy seeing God do great things in and through you.
When everything is being done with joy, nothing is a burden. Jesus said that His burden was light. God is not out to put a heavy burden on you. He is there to give you an abundant and fulfilling life in serving Jesus.
How do you see following God?
As a heavy burden?
Or an exceedingly great joy?
I pray today that you will know the love and grace God has for you; that you will see the joy in serving God; that you will find joy in loving others; and that you will follow God out of love rather than a burden.
I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. Psalm 81:6
The psalmist, Asaph, looked back on when Israel had been delivered from Egypt. While in Egypt, they had been under the heavy burden of slavery. They were not allowed to make their own decisions or live their lives the way they wanted too. It was a heavy burden to bear living like that, but God had removed that burden in the deliverance.
Although the Israelites had to deal with many different difficulties while enslaved in Egypt, Asaph lists everything as one burden. That one burden was slavery.
Although slavery of human beings by another person is still found in different parts of the world, this is a different type of slavery. Not every person is enslaved to another person against his will, as the Israelites were in Egypt.
There is one burden that every person is enslaved to, unless they have been set free. That burden is sin.
From the time of birth every person is enslaved with the burden of sin. It is a bondage that no person can escape from on his own. Someone else has to come in and break the chains of that bondage.
Many people will try to say that they are not in bondage to anyone or anything. Yet, they are unable to stop doing certain things, whether they are actions, words, or thoughts.
Think about your own life. What are some bad habits that you have in your life? Or what are some sins that you seem to do over and over?
These are the things you are enslaved to. These are the things you are in bondage to and cannot break free from on your own.
Just as God had broken the bondage of slavery off of the shoulders of the Israelites, God can break the bondages of sin off your shoulders.
Jesus is willing to forgive you of your sins, if you allow Him to and you repent. Then allow Him to take that bondage and toss it out. Do not pick up the chains of bondage to sin anymore. Be free. Keep your hands, mind and body free from the slavery of sin. Live for God.
I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus has for you; that you will seek forgiveness of sins; that God will strengthen you to stay away from sin; and that you will live for God in every way possible in this life.
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19
Every day people are loaded down with many different types of burdens and cares. The list is endless in what those burdens are: bills, jobs, repairs, break-downs, sickness, children, spouse, pregnancy, neighbors, pets, cleaning, events, and many more.
The level of the burden and what the burden is, is different for each person. For some people the care is very heavy on their minds, all day, every day. It can mean the difference of having food on the table or not having food to eat for some.
Others it is just a major concern about something in their life, such as what to where to an event.
As a person carries the weight of those burdens, it can crush him. Many people have committed suicide over the weight of burdens. They feel as though there is no way out from under the heavy burden. They fail to realize that there is one who is willing to carry those burdens and guide them through the situations of life.
Every believer needs to be praising God for carrying their burdens. Jesus said that believers are to go to Him to find rest. He is willing to carry your burden, if you will carry His burden, which is light compared to yours.
The heaviest burden that you will have is the burden of your sin. Sin is what brings about death, both now and for eternity. Jesus took that up on the cross and nailed it there. You cannot carry it.
If God can carry that heavy of a burden, He can also carry all the rest of your burdens.
Think about how great God is. Here He is, the King, the Creator of the universe, God Almighty, Ruler of all, and, yet, He is willing to help you out and carry your burden.
With that in mind, give Him praise. Tell the world what He is doing for you. Rest in the fact that God has it all in control, because He is carrying it all.
This is not a one time event that God is carrying your burdens. It is a daily thing that He does this. Trust Him and give Him all the praise. It is a relief knowing He is carrying your burdens.
I pray today that you will lay down all of your burdens at the feet of Jesus; that you will trust God to carry your burdens; that you will find rest in Jesus; and that you will praise God for carrying your burdens.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Jesus had not given very many commands, but one of them was to love everyone. This included neighbors, friends, family, and even the enemy. For one to love God, he must love others. One of the best ways to prove that love was in carrying their burdens.
A burden is a heavy load. The level of that weight really does not matter, it is just that for that person it is heavy. Every person has some type of heavy load that they have to deal with.
In the workplace, workers are told to be careful in carrying a heavy load. If the weight of an item is over a certain amount of weight, the person must get a second person to help carry the load. The purpose of this is to keep from injuring the back when lifting the load.
When several people have a hand on a heavy load, they can easily carry something that not one of them could carry on their own. The weight is evenly distributed among all of them. It is now a light weight for each, rather than an extremely heavy weight for one.
Life brings about many different types of heavy burdens for every person. For one it could be a medical issue, for another it could be finances, or housing, or a vehicle, or marital problems, or issues at work, or one of an infinite number of other things.
You have probably gone through some of these burdens. In having carried those burdens, you have grown stronger. Now you have the opportunity to help someone else carry their burden that is similar. Give another person a helping hand, or extra money or food. Try to ease the burden that they must carry.
Jesus took your burden of sin, that was killing you, away. It was too heavy for you to carry. Now that He has lightened your load, go out and help others with their burdens. Ask God to guide you in to how to help someone else out. Be a servant and a helper to someone today. Fulfill the law of Christ–to love everyone.
I pray today that God will show you ways to help carry the burdens of others; that God will give you the strength to help; that God will send others alongside you to help carry your burdens; and that God’s kingdom will be built through your service.