Tag Archives: law

Love and Law

Thank You, Father, for a wonderfully productive day! You have been with me all the way and all the physical things are ready for worship. May I continue to prepare spiritually so that I may say, be and do exactly what You need. Praise Your holy name!

Matthew 5:20 (<<click the green)

When we first read this verse Lord I think we are a little shocked – even if we know who the “teachers of the religious law and Pharisees” were. Maybe I’m just not enough of a rebel but I was brought up to respect leaders in all walks of life. But regardless of how high someone is in any organization – even the church – lines can be crossed. And evil cannot be tolerated…and it must be dealt with. I’m sure there were good men amongst this nefarious crew of religiosity but they may have been few and far between, as well.

You have just proclaimed Your intent to fulfill the law as given to Moses and we are also called to be obedient to it. My study Bible* helps a great deal in understanding this law.

First of all, “there were three categories of law: ceremonial, civil and moral.” Ceremonial law dealt with Israel’s worship and it all pointed to You. Your death and resurrection fulfilled it all! So we “are no longer bound by” them but the “principles behind them – to worship and love a holy God – still apply.”

Our world is a “radically different” place from when the civil law was given to Israel for daily living. We don’t follow them specifically but Your example showed us that the “principles behind the commands are timeless and should guide our conduct.”

Lastly, the moral law (i.e. the Ten Commandments) “is the direct command of God” and we are accountable to abide by it. Lord, You abided by it in its entirety.

And that is the rub with the religious leaders of the time You walked this earth. They were so busy splitting hairs that they didn’t really take time to live out the law where it was really important. Lord, Your desire was and still most assuredly is for us to live in a loving, intimate relationship with You. We can strive to abide by every rule and regulation but unless there is relationship…it is worthless.

Lord, help me (and I know You do) to love You more every day. May there be a burning in my heart to spend time with You regularly. The more time I conscientiously spend with You the closer our relationship will be. Amen – so be it!

*Life Application Bible New Living Translation

Oct. 19th, Thurs, 3:43 pm

Burdened?

Father, as I look out at the beautiful creation before me I am in awe of Your majesty and greatness! It is hard to grasp why someone so awesome would love me so…but I am so glad You do! Praise Your name!

Matthew 5:17-20 (<<click the green)

One thing that has come out in our recent Bible studies at church is Jesus’ relationship with the “law of Moses”. We might not be able to put all the pieces and parts together but it seems to boil down to Jesus bringing a new covenant onto the scene – as communicated in the New Testament. The word used for “testament” is a translation of the word “covenant”. So we have the Old Testament (Covenant) and the New Testament (Covenant).

So the question is, did the covenant Jesus laid out replace the covenant given to Moses? Jesus himself states very clearly in verse 17, and again the Amplified Bible plainly communicates it,

“Do not think that I came to do away with or undo the Law [of Moses] or the [writings of the] Prophets; I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Jesus didn’t change anything. He didn’t eliminate it or destroy it. He fulfilled all of it! By the time Jesus came on the scene, Jewish religious leaders had added to and expanded and “explained” the law to the nth degree. And if you expected to please God, you had to abide by it all! It was so burdensome that no one could possibly do so!

The new covenant didn’t replace the old covenant, it clarified it. Jesus didn’t eliminate the core importance of the law but He did eliminate all the man-made layers it had accumulated over the millennia. Jesus lifted our burden!

Humanity – in trying to be diligent in honoring God’s law – had made it into a confusing mass of rules and regulations. Jesus, when asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” summarized the entirety of the law in just a few words.

“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-34)

Lord, in Your life here amongst us You showed us how to fulfill the law in our lives by following Your example. By giving ourselves over to You each and every day, and throughout each day, Your Spirit will guide and direct our heart, soul, mind, and strength to love You and to love others as You do, as well.

Oct 18th, Wed, 9:59 am

Chisel Tip RED Sharpie Permanent Marker!

Father, this day has already had far too many distractions – nothing evil but “things” of non-importance. Help me to redeem the rest of my day. Help me to invest my time wisely – at home, while helping family, at work – wherever I may be, may You guide my thoughts and actions.

Hebrews 9:16-28 (<<click here)

As I’ve said before, Lord, the book of Hebrews is a challenge to get through – there’s just a lot to wrap my mind around. In thinking through this morning’s passage the author once again speaks of what You did in giving of Yourself so we can be forgiven…and he places Your actions in contrast to the old covenants sacrificial system of the Law.

So as I processed these things in my mind popped the image of a bold sharpie marker. I see the law written out, in great detail, with an extra fine point Sharpie permanent marker – it is written black on a stark white background. The contrast is great – there are no grey areas – everything is black and white.

Breaking this Law is sin and as Romans 3:23 tells us “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Black and white – no grey. The Law’s remedy for sin is sacrifice specific animals, specific time frames, and specific directions, specific upon specific – black and white – no grey.

Then You came on the scene Jesus – not to throw out the Law but to fulfill it in its entirety. And over all that extra fine point detail in black Sharpie permanent marker You are a chisel tip RED Sharpie permanent marker! In all inclusive broad strokes of redemption you have come boldly to be the final Word. You alone are Lord and Savior. Everything falls before You! Everything is complete in You! Praise Your holy name for ever and ever! Amen!!

Apr 6th, Wed, 7:01 am

Balance Law with Love

Dear, precious Father, I am so grateful that You made it possible for us to have a personal, intimate relationship. That You would love me so much to pursue me even after my habitual unfaithfulness to You is astounding. Only because of Your love for me can I remain faithful to You. Sin continues to entice me and will do so throughout the rest of my life but with Your strength and wisdom I am victorious! Praise Your Holy Name!

1 Timothy 1:1-11 (<<click here)

Lord, this passage has my head spinning! Help me focus onto what You would have me see this morning.

Paul says “the law is good when used correctly.” v8 It is important for me to know the law, gaining knowledge of right and wrong but it is to my detriment (and others for that matter)  if a majority of my time is consumed in such pursuits. It’s possible that I can invest too much time in dissecting and discussing minute points of the law.

Again it’s important to know the law. But Paul stresses that “the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful…” v9a

My goal is to be “filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” v5 I am called to live out that love and to proclaim “the glorious Good News of salvation through Christ – through You, Lord!

Being so “law” minded seems to lead us to be too legalistic and judgmental in our interactions with the world – with those who the law is for. But not one of us likes to be berated about our lifestyles and our life choices.

The old adage comes to mind. “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Lord, help me to love others as You love others. Help me to invest myself in them. Help me to be a reflection of You in their lives – genuine, wholesome, transparent, loving, truthful compassionate. Lord, shine through me!

Without a doubt I believe that You love us. Every encounter recorded in the Gospels (the Good News) that you had with sinners was filled with compassion and understanding. You told them the truth but it was always communicated with love! You didn’t say their sin was acceptable but your overwhelming emphasis was true, genuine LOVE! Use me, Lord, to love like You do!

August 22nd, Sat, 7:50 am