Monday, 26 June 2017

Page Turning by Susan L.

  I am crucified with Him. Galatians 2:20
  "So I died to the law--I stopped trying to meet all its requirements--so that I might live for God." Gal 2:19 JCB
  "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." NKJ
  Paul then goes on to add, "I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die." 2:21
  There are laws in this world to keep us safe, to try and deter us from harming each other or ourselves. There are bi-laws in every township like only being able to own three dogs. I guess that's about keeping the neighbourhood bark free. There are provincial laws and federal laws. There are unspoken, social "laws" regarding conduct and appearance. Laws, laws everywhere.
  The courts are jam packed with people whose choice to break the law has landed them in hot water. Not all of them break the law willingly. Many are coerced. Many are simply innocent bystanders who ended up living in addictions because their doctor opened the door. I hesitate to use the terminology about some being victims of circumstances but sometimes a bad choice is the only option. Especially when it's better than the worst choice. Fear is a terribly efficient motivator.
  Laws change and evolve through public demand and as a society progresses. We women got the vote. Internet fraud didn't exist a couple of decades ago.  Marijuana is going to be legal in this country starting next July.
  Jesus turned the page on the laws given to Moses. He's really turned the page on all laws written down or implied because if we allow His love to guide our choices, we truly can do no wrong. But, because it's an earth where evil lives, wrong is part of our lives as well. Brokenness tends to colour our human understanding of love.
  In Mathew 5, Jesus commanded us to love each other as ourselves but in John 13, just before He was crucified,  He superseded this one with a greater commandment, that we love each other as He loves us. Maybe it's because He knows how hard it is for us to love ourselves.
  In the same conversation with His disciples, He also promises to ask His Father to give all believers the gift of the Holy Spirit to help them fulfill His commandment. I am so thankful for this gift because some days my own brokenness has me falling short of loving others unabashedly and unashamedly.
  Which turns yet another page. This one is full of life and light and hope and grace. Jesus came to accomplish the purpose of the laws that had kept the Jewish people, the chosen people apart so that the words of the prophets would come to fruition. Jesus was the Promised One.
  Lord, I am ready to turn the page on my own brokenness. I want to live a life that is based on Your immeasurable love for others. Help me see what that looks like. Help me live what that looks like. I also lift up to You those trapped in circumstances, the law breakers, the fraud artists, the lost. Help them avoid hot water experiences and guide them into the joy found in the Living Waters. May Your love reach into the darkness and lead them into paths of righteousness. In Jesus' name I pray.
  "You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp then puts it under a basket. Instead a lamp is placed on a stand where it gives light to everyone in the house." Mat 5:14-15 JCB

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