Tuesday, March 2, 2010

bound by the law

I had dinner with a friend tonight and it was one of those meetings when conversation was just so rich. We got to talking about some high school girls that she leads a bible study with and just how growing up in the "Bible Belt" has made them so bound by the law. As "grace" has been the theme as of late, (and as God would have it) we started talking about the law vs. the grace of Jesus Christ. I happened to be reading in John chapter 1 this morning, and verses 16-17 stood out to me:

"And from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

The gospels tell the story of Jesus... they're the truth given to us on how to truly live as a Christian. In order to be like Christ, we are to look at what he did. Now ask yourself this question: do Christians do a good job of that? What if we were to take away the gospels? What if Jesus wasn't the messiah, if he hadn't come to save us? The scary thought is, I think a lot of Christians would still look the exact same way. Because we're so bound by the law that we miss the point. Jesus came to rescue us from that. He came to give us a gift that completely changes the world, and for whatever reason, we still concern ourselves more with all of the legalistic stuff. Sure, there's a place for that. I believe there is a healthy balance. But the problem is that we don't display grace in the way that we are called to. We don't live like our lives are a sweet gift from God, being thankful and joyful always. We're too worried about how many "religious events" we can cram into our week, or any other deed that we think may make us LOOK like a "better Christian."

When did we lose sight of the humbling fact that Jesus died so we could live? When did we stop trying to live like him and start making our own rules? JR made a great point in church Sunday morning. He said when Jesus was on earth the sinners flocked to him and the religious wanted nothing to do with him. Now, 2000 years later, the religious are "all about" Jesus and the 'sinners' want nothing to do with him. When did we begin to make him look so unattractive? Why do we not wear his grace in a way that makes people want what we have? And what will it take for us to stop worrying about petty legalistic things and start doing what Jesus showed us and what God calls us to do? To go after the lost, and be a living display of Jesus Christ's love for us through the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.

I wonder what it will take for us to obey his Greatest Commandment. Love God. Love others. He said that's way more important than the 10 commandments that he gave Moses.

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