Have you ever heard the saying "the best thing a father can do for his children is to love his wife and their mother"? Very true statement, isn't it? The same is true in the love we show to our brothers and sisters in Christ. The best way we can show our brothers and sisters in Christ that we love them is to love God and obey Him. As we do this, we just naturally will show those around us the love we have for each one of those. It will be a love that is not limited due to religious denomination or group, limited by social or financial status, limited to our own race, our own political perspective, or our own theological persuasion. If we truly love God, if He is truly living in us, none of these will limit us or mean more to us than our own common salvation and those that have joined us in accepting the same salvation found in Jesus Christ.
While loving God is one way we show our love to our brothers and sisters another is to obey God. We do this by keeping His commandments. The world is always watching us to see if we slip and don't obey God. They're looking to see if we fail Him by disobeying one of His commandments. What a testimony we can be by always striving to keep God's commandments.
I'm struck here, too, by the thought of not only obeying God's commandments but showing the world that God's commandments are not difficult.. that they are not burdensome. By showing others that when we love God and desire to obey Him that we see His commandments as good and as desirable. We hear so much in the secular world about how "hard" it is to keep God's commandments... there are too many rules, you don't get to have any "fun", etc. How wonderful if we could show that this is just not the case?! In Matthew 11:30 Jesus tells us, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I use the Enduring Word online commentary as I study scripture and really thought it summed up well 4 reasons why God's commandments are not burdensome. Here they are:
* God's commandments are not burdensome when we see how wise and good they are.
* God's commandments are not burdensome because when we are born again, we are given new hearts - hearts that wish to please God.
* God's commandments are not burdensome when we compare them to the religious rules men make up.
* God's commandments are not burdensome when we really love God.
This passage of scripture ends by telling us that if we are born of God we will overcome the world. The phrase "overcome the world" is a little intimidating to me, I must admit. I mean, that is what I want, but the world is a pretty big, and sometimes, scarry place. That right there should show us the mighty love and power of our Lord. By living a life of abiding faith and trust in Jesus we live a life that overcomes the pressures and temptations of the world. Pretty powerful stuff, isn't it? With God in our lives we can overcome whatever this world may hand us... good or bad, right or wrong. What a wonderful Lord we serve that gets us through all that we may encounter simply because of His undying and unconditional love for us! All we have to do is completely trust that He will.
My prayer this is week is that through God's love in our lives and our actions in following God's commandments we will be able to reach out to the world around us. That each one of us will be a living testimony to God's love.