The First 15

Thursday June 4, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

Burden Barometer


1 John 5:1-12

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.


Our love for God is expressed through obedience. In keeping God’s commands, which are not burdensome, our love for God is evident. Keeping God’s commands pleases God. God increases our desire and capacity to serve others as we follow his will. This means our lives continually grow towards serving God and others. We’re able to do more for God’s Kingdom empowered by the Holy Spirit. This is how we’re able to accomplish more than we could ever accomplish on our own. So much more than we could naturally handle. A popular saying that the Bible doesn’t say but is widely believed is, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” The truth is if God has given you something he has also given you the means to accomplish what he’s given you. He gives us his grace and power to accomplish things we couldn’t otherwise. God wants to give us more than we can handle and he wants us to receive more than we can handle because, in faith, our strength is increased beyond our natural ability. God makes a way. What God gives us to accomplish for his glory does not weigh us down like heavy burdens. When we surrender control to God, our burdens become light.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). He is able and willing to carry our burdens. Once and for all he carried them all to Calvary and they exhausted all of their weight on him but they couldn’t keep his body down. Because Christ is with us and for us and willing to carry our burdens, they become light. And what he gives us is not burdensome. So if you’re stressed and anxious and overwhelmed, what are you controlling that you need to let go of? You know the feeling of relief when it’s a date night and you have someone to watch your kids? After drop off, you sit down at dinner and sometime before your food arrives, you’re looking at each other and there is this feeling of lightness. That a weight has been lifted. No tension. No worry…some of you don’t know this feeling because you’re thinking about how your kids are going to eat junk and not go to bed on time and they might do something you told them no to and…Hard to let go of control! Some of you know that feeling I’m talking about. Lightness. We’ll drop off the people we love most in this world, our children, with someone who is basically a stranger to them for several hours and trust they will be perfectly cared for in that time period…but, when it comes to our need for control, our worries and anxieties and burdens in life, it’s too much for us to drop those off on God. Some of us will let strangers watch our kids before giving over control of our life to God. Pick up everything in your life that is bothering you. All of it. What in your life is weighing you down? Fling it all on Jesus. Ask him to carry it. Confess you’ve been carrying so much for so long that you were never meant to carry. And surrender control. Not only will Jesus carry your burdens but he is delighted to do so because he loves you. He knows you the best and still loves you the most.

Prayer for Today

“Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.”

—Martin Luther King Jr.

The First 15

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