Friday, January 21, 2011

Comforts from the Cross - Day 13

The Joy of Obedience

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

Today, our focus and thoughts are drawn to the command of obedience once again.  Elyse writes this to begin the day, "I'll admit that obedience is not easily adopted. I, too, have thought that a life of loving obedience would be delightful, that is, until I'm confronted with the choice of giving up something that, at that moment I love more."  This verse in 1 John is actually different than how I would respond when facing moments of difficult obedience. When faced with a difficult trial and knowing that I should act in obedience to God's Word, I think the task or trial is quite burdensome. Maybe John had greater faith than I do, or maybe I need to practice joyful obedience and believe the truth of this verse!  There is a beautiful example of joyful obedience in the Old Testament. 

It is actually a really amazing love story between a guy named Jacob and a girl named Rachel.  Jacob agreed to serve Rachel's dad, Laban, for seven years in exchange for Rachel's hand in marriage.  From Jacob, we find out that the work was not an easy task, "by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes." (Genesis 31:40).  However, the author of Genesis writes this about Jacob's serving, "So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her." (Genesis 29:20).  You may be familiar with the story and that he actually served fourteen years for Leah.  How could those years seem only like a few days? He loved her, and because he loved her the work was not burdensome.

Somewhat like Jacob, but so much greater was the love-driven obedience of our Savior.  This was envisaged in Psalm 40:8; "I delight to do your will, O my God."  "Jesus' work to obtain His bride was actually a delight to Him because of the great love He had for her." He perfectly completed the work of His Father in order to purchase His bride.  "The payment He earned was granted to us, proud self-righteous ones, who disdained Him. But he called it 'joy' because He loved. He gladly laid down His life for His bride."

We see an Old Testament example and our perfect example of Jesus showing us joyful obedience.  I think we should be able to learn from these! My desire for today is that His commandments are not burdensome, but that I can joyfully learn to to obey!  Like the words that were convicting yesterday, I obey because He loves.  I joyfully obey because He loves. 

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