God’s Commandments Are No Longer A Burden

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As Christians we are called to live lives of spiritual and moral character in loving service of God and neighbor. We have the Scriptures to teach us. Jesus, the way, the truth and the life, shows us how to live out of that character in the real world, and the Holy Spirit continues to guide, encourage, and strengthen us in our daily effort through grace.

When we grow in faith and begin to see the wisdom of God’s commandments, we no longer experience them as a burden, or a limitation of our freedom. Rather, we see them as the source of our truest liberation from the slavery of sin. Our “obedience” to the law of God is not given out of fear, but out of our love for God and our thanksgiving for the gifts he has given us and continues to give us, and for his promise of a future eternity with him for all those who obey his commands. We learn to honor God and ourselves by obeying his law.

For those who have grown in their faith, who have come to know God as their personal savior, obedience is no burden, it is an act of love. God’s law is experienced as a great gift. The mature in faith see not just the law but God’s mercy as well. Our obedience, then, is a conscious choice made out of loving respect for God’s great generosity.

With the law, we have a straight path to follow. We need only look ahead, keep our eyes on Jesus, follow his way. Of course, we are also realists. We know that life is difficult, that temptations lurk around every corner. And that we are weak. It is for this reason that we see the wisdom in developing the habits of obedience and faith. We do this through prayer, by regularly reading and meditating on the Holy Scriptures, and by keeping the Sabbath holy. In the humility of faith, we know that we cannot develop the courage to remain true to God’s law by our own strengths alone. We know that we need God’s graces to do this, so we develop the habit of being open to his graces, both when we fail and when we succeed. When we fail, we turn to God for his mercy. When we succeed because of his graces, we lift our eyes, our hearts and our hands in thanksgiving.

Lord, make us strong in faith and give us the courage of that faith to always and in all ways, remain true to your commands. Help us to stay on the narrow path and to not look right or left. Our greatest desire is to live in and through you alone, all the days of our lives, so that we may live with you forever in heaven. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.