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Joy in Obedience

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3

If only I could live as the Lord commanded, perfectly. Life would be so much better! But as I hear them and read them, they seem a journey too far for my brokenness. But John tells us they are not burdensome. Perhaps when I see a burden, I have misplaced love.

Think of Jacob and his example of working and waiting for Rachel. The work was tiring, sun cooked labor. But to Jacob the seven years of hard labor were but as days because he had so much love for Rachel.

Then the older brother in the story of the prodigal son. He reminds the father of how he has served him for these many years. The service seemed hard when he was not receiving what he wanted, there was no love.

Jesus chose to be as Jacob. “The One who crested the sun languished under its scorching beams and struggled to keep warm when the cold penetrated his cloak at night. The One who multiplied loaves was hungry; he who sustained the universe by his word was tired. He perfectly completed the years of work his Father had given him to do, and his reward was given to others who joined in at the last moment. His inheritance was bestowed upon those who gleefully deserted him and spent their days in riotous living. The payment he earned was granted to proud self-righteous ones who disdained him. But he called it all his delight because he loved.”

“Is obedience a burden or delight? Is loving your neighbor, whoever that may be, a source of joy or a grinding drudgery? As you consider the answer to these questions, please resist the temptation to be mired down in you failure to love. Instead, turn your heart toward him and thank him for the love he has for you.”

Lenten devotion from Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Day 13.

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