Daily Proverbial, from James, 18 September 2013

But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.  James 1, verse 25.

Why do you think this is?  The short – and correct – answer is “because of Jesus.”   Jesus blesses us when we follow His commands.   The tough part to understand, though, is that He blesses us whether we follow His commands or not.   Why do you think that is?   Perhaps I’m asking the wrong question.

Perhaps the better question is “why do we reject this?”  We could spend thousands of pages listing the reasons.  They’re all sins.   Big and small, consequential and inconsequential, they are all sins; things that divide and separate us from God.  And yet, despite all our best efforts to continue to divide and separate, Jesus still blesses us each with air, food, shelter, new days, love, friends, you name it.

And have you ever considered freedom?  Government doesn’t give freedom.   A constitution doesn’t give freedom.  Graduating from high school, divorce, a million dollars in the bank, summer vacation, a new car:   none of these give freedom.   None of these things grant us real liberty, real freedom.   Where does your freedom come from?

You guessed it:  Jesus.   Specifically, Jesus’ law.   His law is the source and basis of all freedom.   Law giving freedom?  You read it right.   It is only by knowing our boundaries that we can truly live in ways that give and get everything from the world that we could ever desire.   The more intently we study Jesus’ word, then follow Him, the more we realize that all we could ever desire is found in Him.

Think about it.   Jesus’ law is not just those Ten Commandments.   It isn’t all the stuff that, to non-followers, makes following Christ seem like a drag.  Those are only facets, only the left-most boundaries of defining what our acceptable behaviors and norms are.   No, the bulk of Jesus’ law is love.   Read Matthew 5-7; read the dozens of parables; read the Lord’s Prayer; read 1 Corinthians 13; read John 15:13 and then 15:17.   Most especially, if you want to sum up Jesus’ law, remember these words:  “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

That’s Jesus’ law.  The legal code parts that define the outer edges of that law seem harsh, but even they are based in that law.   God is holy and He intends for us to be holy.   That’s why He gave us the gift of His law.   But when dig beyond the surface that is our humanity, you see that God’s law, Jesus’ law, is pure love.  And love always blesses us.

Jesus of law, bless me with Your love that I might share it with others.

 

What do you think of the law?

Do you have any difficulties understanding Jesus’ words?   What are they?

Do you sometimes struggle in forgiving others when they do things that hurt you?

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