So much of what I write about is to challenge the Christian to look at what the Lord commands and act the way the Bible tells us to. This not only includes turning from the sin in our lives, but also to take up our cross and do the work the Lord has in store for us. If you are diligently studying the Bible and looking at what it teaches, it can easily seem overwhelming and even easier to feel like we have let God down. However, it should not be this way and again, the answers are in the scripture.
In 1 John 5:3-5 it reads, “This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world… Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” Now let’s break down these verses to understand what they are telling us.
First the Lord expects us to do our part in following what He tells us to do. This is where I believe many of our church leaders let us down by not being specific enough about what our role is in obtaining God’s grace and benefits. God is love and proved it by sending His son to die on the cross for us, but we are not off the hook in terms of our actions. Once we know what God expects from us, we must do it.
Secondly, it tells us these commands are not burdensome. Notice the choice of words here? It does not say it is easy, only that it is not a burden or in other words, not so hard we cannot do it. In fact it is us that makes following His commands hard. As your faith increases, you start to realize God knows what He is doing and that His way is the better way. It is much like our children. As they grow, they realize the things, as parents we ask them to do is for their own good and stop fighting what you have taught them. I love the verse in Matthew where Christ teaches how our journey as a Christian is like walking through the small gate and along the narrow road. The easy way out is just doing what feels good or what society says is acceptable. However, this is not God’s way of doing things and He is very specific in what He expects from the Christian.
Now this brings us to the point about how easy it is to feel we let God down and possibly feelings of guilt about our actions. We are human and we will fail. I believe this is natural and that God even expects our human frailties. But remember a few things when you fail. As it says above, as we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, we have overcome the world. This means, not only has He forgiven our sins but also that we are given the power to over come the desires and sins of this world. The Christian also needs to understand that we are judged by the content of our heart. Yes we are weak and thank goodness our actions are not what gets us to heaven. It is our actions that demonstrate our commitment to the Lord and as we travel along the path of maturing faith, the blessings from Christ will pour into our life.
Steve Childers is the author of Catholic or Protestant What our Churches Should Be Teaching. Visit http://catholicorprotestant.com/
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