Saturday, February 7, 2009

You Have Got to Be Kidding!

You have got to be kidding! That is the response a Christian friend had when the subject of loving God’s law came up. Yes I can understand that statement. When we read these demands the law makes of us we are necessarily concerned where we fall short. The third use of the law is for a guide for everyday living and in this way each of the commands, summarized in the 10 commandments, is a gifting to us by our Father. However, the accusation still remains.

Psalm 119:

97 Oh how I love your law!

It is my meditation all the day.

98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,

for it is ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,

for your testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the aged,

for I keep your precepts.

101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,

in order to keep your word.

102 I do not turn aside from your rules,

for you have taught me.

103 How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through your precepts I get understanding;

therefore I hate every false way. ESV

Our custom over the past years is to start the day foraging through the word of God. Yesterday morning the above section was the reading. Verse 98 states that God’s commandment makes on wiser than the enemies. These enemies abound in the life of a Christian. If it is not the accusation of Satan to weigh us down and keep our eyes off the cross of Christ and onto our failures it is some bauble presented to us to make our life perfect. When we see what Jesus commands us “come to me and I will give you rest” we can say to Satan “What of it? I have also did this, that and the other.” Knowing that Jesus commands us “do not fret on the morrow” we can laugh at the advertisement and its empty promise.

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. ESV

St. James is not giving us an empty promise of Wall Street but sage advice on carrying on in the empty and dying world. How wonderful to be gifted with the thoughts of God instead of blindly trying to find our own way and fulfillment! How reassuring the knowledge that Jesus bore our sin and we take, eat his body and drink his body and blood for forgiveness of sin rather than spend energy justifying ourselves! How glorious to be credited with Christ’s righteousness who kept it for us so when we falter we can rest in him rather than try to hide our failure!

Glory to you O Christ! †