Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is it a burden?

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 Now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?


One of the big objections I get from people when I tell them about Jesus is that there are too many rules. Too many don'ts and just too restrictive. That is not how the Israelites thought about the Lord and his ways. In fact, one of the big graces that the Lord gave Israel was a clear path to what was good and right and what pleased HIM. Read Psalm 119 and tell me they thought the LAW was burdensome! If you can find it there, let me know. I don't think you will.

Those of us who understand the Grace of God, who have been touched by his gentle, yet mighty hand know full well what a blessing it is to have the guiding of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Does that mean that I always do what is right? I wish I could say yes. I can not and I think everyone, if they are honest with themselves will say the same same thing. But look at what he ASKS of us. To fear him, to walk in his ways, to service him with all our heart and soul and to observe His decrees. Why? "For your own good."! Is that so hard? Is that so wrong?

I ask people how hard it would be to give up something that is killing them. They almost always say that if it was killing them, they could give it up in an instant. Yet when I tell them that sin is killing them, the fact that they are not following what God wants for their life, is actually killing them, they back away thinking that there must be some catch. "You mean to tell me that if I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as my ne Lord and Savior, I could be saved?!" "That's all?", they exclaim in unbelief. You see, the Gospel is too simple for most people to grasp. "All I need to do is love the Lord with all my heart, soul and strength?" "You've got to be kidding me." Nope, I tell them...that's about it. The rest will come as you grow in grace and knowledge.

I have a firm belief that if I told people there was a lot more to being saved than that, they would believe me faster. For example, if I gave them some sort of secret mantra and I told them to memorize it then to hermetically seal it in a mayonnaise jar and bury it in the backyard during a full moon...then each full moon for 6 months they would need to go out where it was buried and dance around the jar at midnight and chant the mantra, they would have no problems with THAT. After all, that is something THEY would do. They would be in control..it would make sense to them. But the fact is, there is nothing you can do. It has all been done by Jesus when he hung on the cross and was raised from the dead. All you have to believe and accept that; accept Jesus as Lord of your life...that is the part that people really have problems with.

No. The requirements of the Old Testament for people to be saved really have not changed much. They relied on Grace and faith they same as we do today...it still was not anything THEY did for salvation...it was all the LORD's doing.

How about you today? Where are you spiritually? Have you given over your life to the Lord? Have you tasted of his grace? Have you faith in Jesus Christ? How is that working out for you? Have you found it to be burdensome, heavy, unfulfilling, unworth the time and the effort? I know I have not! If you feel the same way...tell someone. Not tomorrow...today. It is the most fulfilling thing in the world. And you know what? That is not a burden either!

Blessings all!

--El