...his commandments are not burdensome.
– 1 John 5:3
Currently, in my life, nothing has taught me more about God, his word, and my own heart than being a parent. There is something about raising kids that brings things into perspective and offers a vivid understanding of the true nature of humanity and of yourself.
One of these precious moments happened again recently. Getting into the full backstory of this situation would take far too long, so I'll just say it was taking place at a time the kids were charged with an insurmountable task. The cleaning of their room.
As usual, the kids were given the instructions and expectations, however, I soon found myself with my son sitting on my bed having a chat. This time it was over yelling at his sister because she was not helping pick up. It was one of those moments when you hear yourself come out of your children and it brakes you and makes you cringe. So there I was talking with him about ways to be kind to his sister–to encourage her to do what is right, how to model it, and how to communicate with her. All while reminding myself to do the same things.
Watching him as I talked, it was easy to see my advice and instructions were not something he was excited about doing. This is when I asked him a question that probably hit me harder than it hit him.
Do you love your sister? Because if you love her, this shouldn't be a hard thing to do.
That right there is when it happened. John 14:23-24 came blazing into my mind.
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
Reflecting back at that conversation with my son has brought up a question for myself. Where has a weak love for Jesus caused us to find it hard in following him? That is a difficult question to ask ourselves, but those are the ones we usually need to think about and answer the most. The question may be hard, the answer may be difficult, but at least the remedy is easy. If you want to renew your commitment to the Lord, then rekindle your love for him. If you want to rekindle your love for him, then spend time with him. Invest in gazing upon him rather than looking at yourself and the things of this world. When you fall deeper in love with him, it changes you and melts away every burden from your obedience.
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? – 1 John 5:2-5
If it has become a burden to follow God's commands, the issue is not your strength or willpower to follow. However, it is problem with your affections. Renew them with a fresh taste of God, his faithfulness, and his promises, by spending time in his word. Let him captivate you again with who he is and what he has done! Let your faith in him be strengthened!
Sunday Reflections are short articles that share thoughts from weekly Bible reading, devotions, sermons, or times of worship. You can find more of them here.