The commandments: Are they rules to remove joys in your life, or make it more joyful?

The commandments: Are they rules to remove joys in your life, of make it more joyful?

John 14:15

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

A Life of Gratitude

Jesus went to the cross and died for us. Shouldn’t we feel forever indebted to Him? Naturally we should, but how can we ever repay Him? The truth is we cannot ever repay Him for paying a debt He didn’t owe, for a debt we could never repay in a million lifetimes, so shouldn’t our natural desire be to do what He asks us to do (Matt 28:18-20)? The debt we owe is like that of the man who owed his master five hundred denarii (Luke 7:41). Which of them would the master love more: the one who owed only fifty denarii or the one who owed five hundred? Certainly the latter, so we ought to want to obey Christ and keep His commands out of sheer gratitude and love for laying down His life for us (John 15:13).

Don’t Hurt Yourself

The commandments are not so much don’t do this and don’t do that, but don’t hurt yourself because the commandments are given for our best interests. Just like speed limit signs are there so we won’t get hurt or even killed and others won’t hurt or kill us, so the commandments are given so that we won’t hurt ourselves or hurt others. These laws are not meant to stifle our joy, but to make us live a life that is more joyful. When we obey the laws of the land, we can have peace of mind that we’re not in any trouble with the law, but when we break these man-made but God- ordained laws (Rom 13:1-4), we have every right to worry. Worry robs us of joy, but obedience gives us peace of mind and increases the likelihood of having a life that is more joyful.

Happy is the Man or Woman

The man or woman who delights in keeping God’s law will be blessed (Psalm 112:1). The person who walks in them, which means the person who obeys them, will have God’s blessing upon them (Psalm 119:1). If you think that God’s law is important, consider that the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the entire Bible is about God’s law (Psalm 119). We gain understanding when we keep His law (Psalm 119:34). There is a delightful feeling in keeping His law (Psalm 119:70). It is more valuable than all the riches in the world (Psalm 119:72). We know that the law is perfect, holy, and true (Psalm 119:142; Psalm 19:7). It brings great peace (Psalm 119:165), and it restores or revives the soul (Psalm 19:7). Why shouldn’t we desire to keep it? It is for our own good.

A Closing Prayer

Great heavenly Father, please forgive me where I fall short of loving Your law because You and Your Word cannot be separated from one another, and I know that Your law is what is best for me. I thank You for showing us Your great love for us in Your holy and perfect law, and it is in the Great Savior’s Name I pray.


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