“We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments.”1 John 5:2 NLT
Many people like to use the excuse that they won’t be a part of any church because there are to many rules. What they fail to remember is that we are a rule based society. We have grown up following rules, rules of government which we call laws, rules we followed that our parents placed before us, rules when we go to school and rules at work. There are even unspoken rules of the playground.
Many of the rules that individual churches and organizations have put in place over the years were made to help separate us from sin. The bible in the Old Testament is full of laws that we can read and wonder how we could ever follow each and every one. I don’t believe it is possible, I think God gave us such a list to show us that we can’t do it alone. That it was a way for us to see that in ourselves we can’t do anything to be redeemed. We require some help from something or someone. Jesus is that help.
When Jesus was asked about the laws or rules and which one was the greatest he gave us two to follow which in essence summed up all the rules. Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. If you love your neighbor and you love God, you won’t murder anyone, you won’t lie to them, you won’t steal from them, you won’t sleep with their wives and daughters. If we can work on these two commands then the rest will follow as you won’t want to do them.
If you are overwhelmed by rules in your faith, either because you are imposing them on yourself or your church has you under their thumb, I pray that you ask God to guide you in his commands. Ask him to guide you in loving your neighbor, ask him to show you how you can be an example of his love to them. Continually love God, don’t give up on him in the good or bad, he hasn’t given up on you.
Father, I love you so much, thank you for send your son Jesus to die on the cross and redeeming me of my sins. I ask that I can love my neighbor more, give me opertunities to show your love to them. I ask that anyone who may be feeling oppressed by rules that aren’t from you God, that they are shown a way out, a way to freedom in you. Holy Spirit guide us in our mission of reaching the lost, let our lives be an example of Christ love for us and them. We pray that you will give us a hunger to share you salvation message with them, because they matter to you so they matter to us. Amen