"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome."
1 John 5:3
When I was thirteen, I enjoyed coming home after a long day from school and baking. My sister and I would revel in having the house to ourselves for a few hours before our parents came home from work, and we often took those hours to bake or make snacks.
I will never forget the one afternoon we came home from school, and we wanted to make cookies. We gathered all the ingredients and made our cookie dough, and then it came time for putting the dollops of dough on a cookie sheet. I realized only after my fingers were covered in dough from mixing by hand that the cookie sheet was in the sink and needed to be washed.
So I washed my hands of the dough and cleaned the cookie sheet. It seemed like it would take extra effort to dry it with a towel, so I came up with a better idea.
I thought to myself, "Why don't I dry it in the microwave?"
I put that cookie sheet in the microwave to dry and learned a valuable lesson.
I blew a hole in the microwave that day, and I learned by experience to never put anything metal into the microwave.
I had never read the instruction manual for a microwave, but I did have thirteen years of watching my mother make food to know that she never put metal in a microwave. And if I had read the instruction manual for a microwave, I would have learned that metal + microwave = bad idea. From my limited experience, I thought I knew how to use the microwave, but I was sorely mistaken.
It's fair to say that the makers of the microwave know how to use their creation better than I do. They made it. They understand how it works, and they know what you should and shouldn't put into it. They give instructions because they care, and they want people to be able to use the machine properly.
God's commands are very similar to the instruction manual of a microwave. God knows what is best for us. He made us. He made this world. He knows how we work and how this world works. Wouldn't it make sense then to follow His instructions and commands? Why should we follow His instructions and commands?
We can't love (in the deep heart love sense) a microwave, but we can love God. God gave us commands because He loves people, His image-bearers, and wants what's best for them, and we can love God by following and keeping his commands in response to His love for us.
God made people. He loves people, and He sent His perfect Son to die for the sins of mankind, so that we could be redeemed to enjoy a satisfying and intimate relationship with our Maker. God's love is freely given, and you can't buy it with works or favors, but you can respond in light of it. We love Him by keeping His commandments.
But what does it mean to keep God's commandments? In it's simplicity, it means following God's instructions as laid out in His Word - the Bible. But the Bible is not strictly an instruction manual. It's God's Word, how He speaks to people, and it's also the story of our redemption.
God's commandments are not burdensome. Like an instruction manual, they were created for our good, and if we love God, we show our love by keeping his commands and following his instructions.
But why should we love God and keep His commands? I want to go deeper into this in a future post.
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