Monday, April 20, 2009
Meditation Monday - Law or Grace?!
I'm sharing something I read the other day which I can never read enough of, just to remind myself that God does not look for exterior religious efforts, but it has always been our hearts that He is interested in. A pig taken out of his sty, washed and pruned and adorned with a pretty bow will return to the mud afterwards because it is the nature of the beast. Without the inward working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we by nature will follow our natural inclinations.
That's why I LOVE GRACE! Jesus accepted in a heart changes natural desires to Godly ones, His Grace changes our values, our mentality, our characters - we live from the inside to the outside and don't need a set of rules to keep us in line!!
A couple of weeks ago the theme at our church was Law and Grace - and as we share the Sunday morning with two other preachers, when it was René's (my DH) turn, I did a little bit of theater in front of the church to try to explain what the difference is.
But I will quote what I wanted to share first:
"Have you ever watched someone walking a dog on a leash when the dog doesn't want to go where its owner is going? The owner is constantly tugging on the leash, pulling the dog from here and there, telling it to "stop that" and "come back here". That's the way a lot of us live. We are on a 'law leash'. Our lives consist of "Stop that; come back here; don't do that". Only it's in terms of "Read your Bible; pray; go to church; pay your tithes; witness". Now, these are certainly the things we should be doing, but God never meant us to do them at the end of a leash. What a difference when you see a dog and its owner that have a strong relationship. The dog doesn't need a leash to go for a walk. Its owner can just speak a word and the dog responds. Now we're not comparing ourselves to dogs, we're comparing performance-based Christian living to relationship-based Christian living. Big, big difference!
Paul writes: "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Corinthians 3:5-6 NAS).
When God redeemed you, He wrote His law in your heart and mind (Hebrews 10:16). That means He wants to relate to you from the inside. You shouldn't need an external system of rules to 'keep you in line', because you have internalized God's Word and you have a desire to obey and please Him from your heart."
(From a devotional by Bob Gass)
You guessed it, I took an invisible dog out for a walk, firstly a dog that I pulled and tugged at as an illustration of how exterior rules tug and pull at us and afterwards how the dog walked in quiet confidence next to me because of a good relationship.
I hope this may bless you today!