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Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me;your rod and staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."

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"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome"
1 John 5: 3.

WE love God because he first loved us. It is impossible to be a Christian unless we love God. God's love is made known in that he GAVE his only begotten Son to perish in hell on the cross, to save people from Hell. He GAVE his Son to suffer all his just and holy wrath against our sin and rebellion in our place so that he could justly forgive us our sins. God's love is so massive and infinitely great that it is beyond compare. It is amazing how people cannot love God.

However love must be more than words but revealed in actions and the way we live and respond to God; this is why John tells us in this verse for this month that love for God is made evident when we obey his commands.

As soon as we hear this we may well feel that it is impossible to show love for God, because we fail in holiness all along the line. However when we feel like this it is the devil seeking to discourage us. John loved God and he could say truly that God's commands are not burdensome. How are we able to come to terms with this. Well it is Jesus in Matthew 11: 28-30 which explains how this is done. The way we keep God's commandments is by allowing gladly to be under the yoke of Jesus.

In these Matthew verses Jesus use the illustration of the plough. He likens the Christian to the oxen that pull the plough which is guided by Jesus the ploughman. The Christians life of obeying God's commands is being willing to be led and directed by Christ in our living. We live according to all his given word as we find it in the whole of the Bible as it is revealed and impressed upon us by the Holy Spirit. Such being yoked is found as we live in the Bible and spend time in the Bible, in the way Mary showed when she sat by Jesus' feet to listen and delight in his teaching.

When Jesus ends these verses in Matthew with the words 'For my yoke is easy and my burden is light' we find this absolutely true. As long as we do not resist his yoke, and willingly allow ourselves to be led and guided by his yoke, obeying God's commands are a delight and pleasant and so easy. It is only when we resist the yoke do we find God's commands difficult.

As God has loved us we want to be under the yoke of Christ and this is to obey God's commands.