For Joy!

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The Commands of Christ – A Book of Joy

From time-to-time, beginning with this post, I will be sharing excerpts from my next book.


Love God and People

I was drinking a cup of coffee and writing a devotional a while back when I read this verse: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments1.” So, I stopped to think about what Jesus said. The first thought I had was the reply Jesus gave to the “lawyer”:

And he [Jesus] answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 10:27 ESV

I thought I was “good to go,” but I again stopped and lingered on what Jesus meant by keeping His commands. I remembered that two of the ordinances (special commands) Jesus gave His Church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper-Communion-Eucherist. That’s two specific commands. Hmm.

Jesus Also Gave Us Specific Commands

When we study the New Testament, we find nine of the ten commandments carried over from the Old to the New; nine, not ten. The only commandment not included in Jesus’ New Covenant is the command to observe the Sabbath day2. Concerning the Sabbath, we find:

So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.

Colossians 2:16 NLT

So, in Jesus’ reply to the lawyer’s question, He told him (and us) what is needed to show love for Him. But why should we study the many specific commands that Jesus gave if we can fulfill all the commands by loving God and People?

It’s Like a Car

Allow me to use a car as a metaphor. Think back to the time you received or purchased your first car. I’m sure a parent or friend told you, “Be sure to take care of it!” “Take care of it” is the command you received, and it’s true. But how do you take care of it?

Is keeping it clean enough? Is changing its oil regularly enough? Well, the answer is no. You must do many things to fulfill the command “take care of it.” Replacing worn tires, worn breaks, old batteries, and so forth.” The same is true in Christ’s commands to love God and your neighbor. To help us, Jesus told us the specific commands we need to fulfill the two greatest commands.

Christ’s Commands Give Us Joy

When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.

John 15:10–11 NLT

If you are a Christian, you are seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms3. You, too, can bear your cross4 for the full joy that awaits you in your heavenly home. It is God’s good pleasure for us, His children, to enjoy our new life in Him. “In this world, we will have trouble5,” but in Christ, we have peace and His joy. Because the New Testament overflows with good things – joy, peace, love, and so forth. I have written this book to help us to gain more of God’s joy. This book is not about making new laws for us; it certainly is not about burdening our lives more than the “light burden6” Jesus gives each of us.

The Commands of Christ were given for the lost to be saved and the saved to be full of joy7. In these commands, we learn how to break free from worldly lives and prepare to live eternally in the kingdom of God. We are on this adventure because Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey His commands8.

Image by serrano1004 from Pixabay

You may like: Clothed in Joy

[1]: John 14:15
[2]: Are the Ten Commandments repeated in the New Testament? |
[3]: Ephesians 2:6
[4]: Matthew 16:24–26 ESV
[5]: John 16:33
[6]: Matthew 11:28–30 NIV
[7]: Romans 15:13 ESV
[8]: John 14:15

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