Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 1 John 5:3, Psalm 119:35, Matthew 11:28–11:30
Living Free 7.03.16
A message to help us grasp the freedom that comes in obeying the commands of God. Not part of a series.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." While the most famous statement in the Declaration, the document is mostly a long list of complaints (27 to be exact) against King George III of England. “You’ve repeatedly ignored us and we’ve had enough. We will no longer submit to the rule of a tyrant.”
In life, we make our own personal declarations of independence.
•moving out of a dysfunctional home
•quitting a job with a hostile boss
•getting out of an abusive marriage
•escaping a toxic religious environment
While decisions like these can be positive and empowering, choosing personal independence isn’t always best. We can become more guarded and less trusting of others. It can also lead to stubborn arrogance, where we’re convinced we’re always right.
1 John 5:3
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.
Love for God = Keep His Commands
This is written for Christians. Obedience isn’t how you gain a relationship with God; it’s how you grow a relationship with God. A relationship with God comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. He succeeded where we failed. His perfect life and His sacrificial death lead to our forgiveness.
The Struggle to Keep His Commands
Even if you have a relationship with God through Jesus, keeping God’s commands isn’t a given. We have independence running through our veins not only as Americans, but also as members of human race--sons & daughters of Adam and Eve. This inbred selfishness fights against us showing our love for God. As Christians, we face an internal struggle between trying to love God versus not wanting to relinquish control of our lives. “you’re not the boss of me!”
Keeping God's Commands: 3 Factors
(1) KNOWLEDGE (head)
“I know what God wants me to do.”
Key: the Bible
(2) DESIRE (heart)
“I want to do what God wants me to do.”
Key: the Holy Spirit
(3) ABILITY (hands)
“I’m able to do what God wants me to do.”
Key: sustained obedience over time
1 John 5:3
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome
Keep His Commands = Our Good
Genuine faith believes that God knows more than we do and that He has our best in mind. The Cross proves His wisdom for us and His benevolence toward us. Obeying God leads to…
~ Joy not Drudgery
~ Freedom not Oppression
~ Fulfillment not Frustration
Psalm 119:35 NIV
35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
What Will Help You Love God More?
Is it more KNOWLEDGE?
Is it stronger DESIRE?
Is it greater ABILITY?
Is it total SURRENDER?
1 John 5:3 NIV
3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,