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Seeds of the Kingdom

Commandment or Gift?

by Peter Brokaar

Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!
Psalm 81:13, NIV

I recently read a devotion which recommended seeing repentance as a gift from God. Rather than taking it as a heavy thing, we ought to consider it as a blessing from the Lord! After all, when we repent, we’re brought back on to the path of life. We can reconnect with God, and restoration can take place. Seeing repentance in this positive light makes us much keener to respond to His conviction immediately, and to do it thoroughly. I really appreciated this insight.

At Blairmore, I often bring a teaching on God’s rest. I have come to learn that rest is something absolutely key to our life with God, and something strongly on God’s heart for us. I usually ask the question, “Is rest a gift or a commandment?” My answer is, “It is both!” Rest is something wonderful God wants us to experience, and something Jesus promised to bring His followers. But God also commanded us to rest and to take the principle of the Sabbath seriously. Both God’s commandments and His good desires for us are deeply interlinked.

I wonder if it would be helpful for us to start seeing God’s commandments in a more positive light. Because of our inherent rebellion and stubbornness, we tend to push against God’s ordinances, and see them as restrictive, prohibitive, and limiting to our fun. But in fact, everything God tells us to do (and not to do) is for our good. Imagine a world where everyone kept the basic ten commandments such as “Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal or don’t murder”. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful world for everyone to live in?

God’s heart is not to crush us or to make things difficult for us. Rather, as a loving Father, He wants to teach us, and guide us towards the path of life. He knows what’s good for us and He warns us against those things which harm us and others. When we trust Him, we can delight in His will, thank Him for His instructions and start obeying Him with a more joyful heart.

Today, let’s thank God for His commandments! God does not wish to load us with heavy burdens. but He teaches us right from wrong, so that we might have life. As it says in 1 John 5:3, ‘For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome’.

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.


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