1 John 5:3 Obeying God Is Not A Burden

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3

Rules are something that many people do not like to have to follow. They are good for the other person, but not for self, because they are restrictive and keep a person from really ‘living’ life.

It is common for many to see how close they can come to breaking the rule, without actually breaking it. More energy is spent in trying to get close to the line, then would be in just obeying the rule.

As John brings his letter to an end, he tells the people that love for God is keeping His commands and that His commands are not a burden.

Looking at many churches and believers, one would think that all a Christian life would be is just living a life of what to do and what not to do, with the emphasis on what not to do. Talk is often heard of what all the commands of God are, laying a heavy burden upon the people.

When the focus is on what to do or not do, the commands are difficult to follow. Believers need to change their focus from what God’s commands are to loving Him. Anyone who loves God will want to obey Him because he trusts Him completely. God’s love is perfect, so He will not give any command that is bad or difficult.

Once a person falls in love with God, he will find joy in obeying His commands. They will no longer be a burden or chore that must be done, but that want to be done.

Living will begin on a level that was never realized before because it is out of love, not duty.

You may see all the commands of God and be overwhelmed and burdened by them. Instead of looking at the commands as a burden, learn to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Get to know God’s perfect love for you.

As you begin to realize God’s love for you, you will begin to love Him back. The love you have for God will lighten the load of obeying His commands, turning them into a joy because they will bring about life.

Do not look at the commands as a must, but that you get to out of love.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God with all of your being; that you will find joy in obeying God; and that you will know the life you can have in obeying God’s commands.

Hebrews 3:12 How Is Your Heart?

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Hebrews 3:12

All over the world some people are willing to put their hearts into something that they believe in. It is what gives the athlete the ability to win the gold medal. He is focused on one thing and keeps at it, never allowing his heart to move to something else.

Others, however, do not stay as focused. There is constant change as to what they are focused on, constantly turning away from something to go to something else.

The author warns the people to make sure that none of them have a sinful heart that turns away from God.

The church is filled with many people who, at some point, chose to believe in Jesus and follow God. At the same time, there are many of those people who have also chosen to step into sin and allow their heart to be turned away from God. Some continue in the church and others have left the church completely.

Leaving God does not always happen quickly. It is often a slow change over time. One decides to start dabbling with some sinful activity, thinking it is fun and acceptable. Later he goes into more and deeper sins, pulling his heart further from God, until at last he walks completely away from God.

Staying on path with God, requires that one keeps his heart focused upon God. He does not allow the distractions and sins of this world to pull him off course, but stays in the center of God’s world, drawing closer and closer to God everyday.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. One will only continue to believe as long as he stays in God’s word and obeys it.

Take a look at your life, if you have chosen to be a believer at some point. Is your life still focused upon God? Or have you allowed sin to creep in and take over, pulling you away from God.

Make time daily, even multiple times daily, to refocus upon God and His word. Do not allow sin and the pleasures of this world to rule your life and turn your heart away from God.

Keep running the race in faith that God has called you to run and don’t give in.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will keep your heart focused on God and His word; that God will strengthen you to reject all sin in your life; and that your faith in God will grow stronger each day.

Colossians 3:2 What Do You Think About?

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

Throughout the day there are many things that people think about. Depending upon what they are doing, will depend upon where their focus and mind is, money, bills, illnesses, vacations, pleasures, family, work, material things, and more.

Behind all of their day-to-day activities, many also have their minds focused upon dreams. Nearly everyone has something that they desire and many will spend a lot of time thinking about that thing and how to get it. Focus on these desires will often overtake other responsibilities and more important needs.

Paul points out that since a believer is now raised with Christ to a new life, he is to focus on things above, not the temporary earthly things.

While it is important to take care of the temporary things of life on this earth, such as jobs, bills, vehicle and house maintenance and more, there is a higher and more lasting priority of focus.

Everything physical in this life will break down, fade away and disappear at some point. Nearly all of these things will fade from the memory of most people shortly after it is gone. It is only in the here and now that they can mean anything, if anything at all.

Even though the believer is in this world and must take care of some temporary things, his primary focus must be more on the eternal things of heaven and God. A person may have all the physical things of this world, but if he does not believe in Jesus and have his sins removed, he will lose everything in the end and have only death left.

God has a mission for every believer. That mission will always have a focus upon eternity with God for himself and others. Believers must have a focus upon that mission that God has for him.

You have many things that you think about every day. Each one has a different level of priority in your life. While many of those things have some temporary importance to them, the greatest thing to focus upon is what God is saying and doing in and through you.

Instead of spending all of your time and efforts to gain temporary things, put your mind and efforts on the things of eternity and God. Jesus forgave you and saved you for an eternal purpose, not for temporary things.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will focus your mind on the things of God; that God would remove the lure of temporary things in your life; that you will have the mind of Christ in all that you think, say and do; and that you will know God’s mission for your life.

2 Corinthians 5:9 What Is Your Ultimate Goal?

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 2 Corinthians 5:9

Goals are something that nearly everyone talks about and many strive to make, while many others totally ignore. Those who are able to set a good goal and focus on it, usually are able to attain it with much work and perseverance.

Since it often takes a lot of work and focus to accomplish most goals, most people don’t really set them with full accomplishment in mind. They quit before they even have begun.

After talking about being away from the body, dead, it means to be at home with the Lord, Paul says that he makes it the goal to please God, whether in the body or away from it, alive or dead.

The goals the world is most often known to focus on and aim for are personal health, wealth and happiness. Some will set goals to help others in some social way. In all of these goals, the focus is on temporary pleasure and happiness of self or of others. Everything in this world will eventually fade away and be destroyed.

God is the only one who is completely eternal and owns everything. It is He who made this earth and every person in it. Since He is the head person, everything should be about pleasing Him.

Those who are true believers in Jesus realize that all they have and all they are is because of what Jesus had already did for them. In light of this revelation, their goal is to please Him in every way possible.

Pleasing God means one continually turns away from sin, immediately repents of any sins, strives to live as Christ lived, and strives to bring others to the Lord and help them live as Christ lived. God does not desire anything less or anything more.

Looking at your own personal life, what do you see as your greatest goal in this life? Do not allow it to be on temporary things that will perish and fade away, but on things that will last for eternity.

Only two things will last for eternity: your soul and the souls of everyone else around you. Focus on pleasing God with your life and with the lives of others. Be holy like God is holy.

Make it your goal to live as Jesus lived and you will please God.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that your goal in life will be to please God; that you will live as Jesus lived; that you will point others towards Jesus; and that God will help you turn from the ways of this world.

1 Corinthians 9:26 Have Focused Running

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:26

Running a race is something that takes more than just physical running. Those who are often a winner at running, have the ability to have focus.

At the beginning of the race, he has a focus on where the end goal is. As he is running, he is focused on his breathing and on his steps being made. Without a direct and constant focus, the runner will run aimlessly, wasting his time and losing the race.

Paul, in talking about going for a prize, said that he does not run aimlessly or just shadow box the air.

The walk of a believer is one that must have some focus in it. Just claiming to believe in Jesus and repenting of sins will not keep one on the right path with God.

It is sadly common that many believers claim to believe in Jesus, but will daily, purposefully walk in sin. Others have better focus, but allow themselves to stray into sinful practices on a regular basis on purpose.

In the end, the ultimate goal of a believer is to be more and more like Jesus every day, and to be holy as God is holy. God’s standard is one of perfection and He has given the believer everything he needs to attain it.

While running this race in this fallen world, this takes razor sharp focus. All around the believer there is sin ready to trap and destroy him. Yet, when focused, in front of him is the goal of being like Jesus and God’s holiness.

Staying in God’s word and hiding it in the heart, and continual praying will allow one to be led by His Holy Spirit so that he can run with focus in this life with a focus on God’s path for him.

You are in the race for your life. God has already given you everything you need to run that race. He is also giving you the strength and focus you need to finish it well.

Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the temporary things and sin of this fallen world. Focus all of your mind, strength and attention upon God and His goal for your life.

Keep running with focus to win the prize of life with God for eternity in heaven.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the path God has for your life; that you will be focused on what God has for you; that you will be more like Jesus every day; and that God will give you the strength to keep running the race He has you on.