May 27, 2020

I John 5: 3b-4

And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.


On Monday we read that we should keep God’s commands in order to demonstrate our love for God and others. Today we read that those commands are not burdensome. I don’t know about you, but I certainly find loving others to be burdensome at times. I’m selfish. I want things my way according to my timing. Putting others first messes with that whole system and I find it hard to do. So how can we believe that God’s commands aren’t burdensome?

Difficult and burdensome are not the same thing. Exercise is difficult but not burdensome. Telemarketing is burdensome, but not difficult. Dial, follow a script, hang up, repeat. While the opposite of difficult is easy, in the context of these verses, the opposite of burdensome isn’t “easy”, but instead life-giving. Overcoming addiction is difficult, but life-giving. The same is true of serving your spouse sacrificially, parenting your children with patience, training someone in a new task, or finishing a degree.

John demonstrates this concept in verse 4. He talks about overcoming and victory. You can’t have victory without a conflict. You can’t overcome if there isn’t an obstacle. Following God’s commands takes effort and focus. Sometimes the payoff isn’t immediate. But the victory is real. 

I’ll leave you with a charge from Galatians 6:9. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

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