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.

Acts 15:19 Don’t Make It Difficult

It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Acts 15:19

Everywhere a person goes there are some rules or regulations guiding people how to live or work where they are at. Some places are very lenient, having very few regulations, while others are extremely strict with an overload of rules.

The more rules that are laid out, the more difficult it is for people to follow them. It can become much easier to break the rules with many rules. It can also make it very discouraging to attempt to follow all of them.

The Jewish leaders in Antioch were laying down a lot of rules for new Gentile believers to follow in order to follow God. Paul told them they should not make it difficult for the new Gentile believers as they turn towards God.

One of the constant struggles for churches is in knowing what the rules are to be and remain a believer. While many believe that believing in Jesus and repenting of sins is enough to become a follower of Jesus, there are others that add a lot more.

There are also many churches that want the new believer to clean up his life completely before becoming a member. A long list of things to do or not do is given immediately upon becoming a Christian.

While it is good to begin guiding a new believer in how to live for Christ, giving a long list can be overwhelming and discouraging. It can push people away from God, because of the impossibility of fulfilling a long list of legal regulations, just as the Israelites had a problem with following God’s Law.

The focus for new believers should be building them up, little by little in what it means to follow Jesus, not all at once.

You may be a new believer who is struggling with being burdened with a load of regulations, or you may be an older believer who loads others down with rules. Either way, do not forget that the only thing required to be a believer is to believe in Jesus and repent of sins.

God will change your heart to be able to handle more rules as you continue to grow in Him, learning to trust and obey Him in every area of your life. Do not burden yourself or others with too much, too fast.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength and wisdom to obey His commands; that you will guide new believers in the ways of the Lord; and that God will guide you in helping new believers grow in the Lord.

Matthew 22:40 What It Is All About

All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:40

Every time there is a group of people that are together, there is a list of rules and regulations to guide them. Some groups have only a few regulations, while others have thousands of rules.

Governments have thousands of pages of regulations on nearly every ruling. These are done this way to guide every one in nearly every possible situation, so that there is very little to no misunderstanding in the meaning of the ruling. No one can actually completely know every ruling of a government.

Someone had asked Jesus what the greatest commandment in the Law was. Jesus answered to love God and to love the neighbor. After answering, Jesus said that is was on those two commandments that all the rest of the Law and the prophets hung.

It is easy for a person to read the bible and get overwhelmed with all of the commands given throughout the bible. There are several hundred commands, dealing with nearly everything and anything in nearly every possible situation.

Unlike the governmental regulations that people can come up with, God’s commands all boil down to two very simple commands–love God and love others.

Love is not selfish and does whatever it can to help and build up the other person, regardless of who that other person is. It is putting others before self at any cost. The one who truly loves God will not want to hurt God by disobedience. The one who truly loves people will not want to hurt anyone at any cost.

As one looks closely at all of the commands of God in the bible, he will see that all of them are either about loving God or loving someone else in some way or another. Instead of being overwhelmed by the commands, one just needs to love God and others.

You may wonder what God wants you to do with your life, what commands God has for you. Rather than be concerned with a thousand commands, focus on two–loving God and loving others.

As you focus on loving God and loving others, you will steer away from sin against God or others. You will always be able to make the right choice.

Jesus came to bring love to you, how can you return and forward that love to God and others?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength; that you will love others with the love God has for you; that your life will be focused upon following a path of love; and that you will see God’s love in every command He gives you.

Romans 1:28 The Price Of Forgetting God

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. Romans 1:28

Leaders are people who help put into place rules and regulations that help guide the people correctly. Over the years some men have enacted rules that have been great and helpful to millions of people.

As long as these leaders are remembered, their rules are also remembered. Once the person is forgotten, often the rules that were emplaced are forgotten. As soon as that occurs, people start to fall.

Paul points out that the people had chosen to forget about God. Since they had rejected God, He gave them over to their own ways to continue to sin more and more.

Looking back over history, one can see that nations who served God rose up great. Once they began to reject God, they started to fall. God allowed them to go their own way.

Several nations that were known to follow God have chosen to ignore God and do their own thing. People have rejected the rules and commands of God, choosing a life of sin.

God does not put a chain on them and demand that they follow Him. Rather, He will let them do what they desire. He lets them have their depraved mind.

America is one nation that is at this point as a whole. People have rejected God and promoted sin. Sin is becoming more rampant, excepted and openly promoted as good. Sadly, this is also occurring inside the church.

In order to stop this trend, believers must remember God and live according to His standards. They must go against the trends of this world in following God. Every believer must flee sin as fast as he can, staying as far away as possible from sin.

As a believer, you know the truth of God and His word. You are familiar with how God wants you to live. Do not allowed yourself to be deceived by the sinful ways of this world to fall into their depraved, sinful ways of living.

Stand out as different in following God with all of your heart, soul and mind. Stay in His word, knowing what God requires of you. Pray daily, so that you hear from Him.

As you do these things, God will not give you over to a depraved mind, but keep you in His hand.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek God daily; that you will know what God desires of you; that you will be His witness to this world; and that God will strengthen you to flee all sin.