Friday, March 4, 2011

You Want Me To Do WHAT?!

For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. - 1 John 5:3-4
There are many things in life that weigh us down; jobs, responsibilities, health concerns, money troubles, relationship issues...the list could go on and on.  Yet the one thing we let REALLY get us down is following God’s commandments.  When the disciples asked Jesus Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law? (Matthew 22:36) Jesus answered them simply: LOVE.  Love the Lord your God, Love your neighbor.  
The commandments are love, as God first loved us. Nothing crazy or grandiose.  Nothing that requires any special tools or large amounts of cash.  Just love. Love without limits, without conditions, without expectations.  The greatest gift we receive is God’s daily, unending, limitless love. 
The 2nd greatest gift we receive is the gift of the commandments. We often see the commandments as burdens; as things meant to make us feel guilty or to so constrict our lives and actions that simply ‘living’ is out of the question...however, the exact opposite is true.  God’s commandments give us a road map on how to live our lives.  They guide us in our relationships with God and with each other. They remind us of what is important: God and His desire to love and bless the whole world and our ability to get along with one another and live fruitful lives.
Imagine a world where we were able to let go of all the burdens that weigh us down so that we might love one another...
Paul pleads, in his 1st letter to the church at Corinth:  You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common. (1 Cor 1:10) Human disagreements, fights and arguments are not anything new. They were as common to the ancient world as they are to us today. Why is it that when we look to our neighbors we see natural enemies rather than natural friends; we prefer to draw lines of us vs them rather than see each other with the same love and grace that God looks upon us with.  
I urge you, friends - we cannot solve all the worlds’ problems of fighting and violence, but we can start here...with us.  Recognize the great gifts we are given in God’s love and in the commandments - and then simply live and love one another.
Let us pray:
Gracious God - there are things in this world that weigh us down, that burden our lives and keep us from keeping your commandments.  We lift all that to you now, trusting in your grace and mercy.  In our new found freedom, make us bold to love; to love you above all else, and our neighbors as ourselves.  Amen.

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