The Law and Grace. Day sixty-seven...
“Ever since our flight left DFW, if you haven't complained about one business headquartered in Dallas you've complained about another. And that's all fine and good—I've been able to handle it. But I happen to know the CEO, whose policies you're trashing at this very moment. He's my dad. And now you're getting personal!”
As a business traveler, it's one thing to listen to somebody sitting next to you complain about the practices of CEOs you know nothing about. But it's an entirely different matter when that CEO happens to be your father.
To know someone intimately—someone we love and respect—changes our perceptions of his or her practices and policies.
To know someone intimately is to know what's behind the scenes of his or her practices and policies.
Jesus made some demanding statements to the multitude on the mountain (see Matthew chapters 5–7).
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the
I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you,
heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass
the law till all is fulfilled.
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17–20 NKJV)
And I clearly remember those days when I could criticize His practices and His policies (His Law) with the best of them. But the more I have come to know Him, the less reason I have to complain—and the more I have come to appreciate every word out of His mouth.
Every commandment which I command you today you must
careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and
land of which the LORD swore to your fathers.
And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.
You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.
Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. (Deuteronomy 8:1–6 NKJV)
As I bring this series to a close, I want you to consider how your position in relationship to God makes all the difference in your attitude toward the law and your understanding of His grace.
God's commandments (all that God says) are not supposed to be like old law books getting dusty on a shelf in an attorney's office. Every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God contains life–your life.
As you fight (and it is a fight) to get into your proper position in relationship to God—and to stay there—you will begin to keep (to cherish, to guard) His commandments out of desire—and not out of obligation.
This is, in part what Jesus is referring to when He says:
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:19‐21 (NKJV)
God's grace does not release us from an obligation to keep His commandments.
His grace empowers us to move into such an intimate position in relationship to Him that every word out of our mouth is just an extension of every Word out of His mouth. And as He speaks life into us, we are empowered to speak life into the hurting people around us.
Please consider this amazing perspective the Holy Spirit has given to us through Paul—to the point that it will pop into your head throughout the day and the night.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)
Have a good day,