Devotion for August 18, 2022

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart … and with all your strength. Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these (Mark 12:30,31).

Oh, c’mon! You can’t be serious! Ever raised your arms at the footy umpire’s decision and let them know what really happened? Perhaps, you’ve been the designated driver for friends or family? Maybe, you’ve had a police officer step from the shade of a tree and flag you down to stop? Cameras that monitor speed, seat belts, mobile phones, registration, load security and toll payment are just part of the fabric of society. The law is everywhere.

The law can equally be our protector and our frustration. It can help create safe behaviours in others that help keep us safe, but it can also feel restrictive or illogical. Nonetheless, it is the law. Bills are passed into law and serve three purposes for the greater good. Laws can be thought of as:

  1. A boundary line or fence — our cars may be capable of excessive speeds, but clear and safe limits on the road provide protection for all users.
  2. A signpost — knowing that a few drinks can make us unsafe drivers guides our choice to get others home safely.
  3. A mirror — seeing a police car on the highway causes us to check our speed and reminds us of the right choices.

Is there a law that you really appreciate or really don’t? Do you understand the intent and application of every law? So many people tried to trap Jesus by using the law. It was clear from their questions and tricky scenarios that they had a very linear and simplistic view of the law, with actions being right or wrong. Sadly, this was used to make them look puffed up and pompous and make everyone else look bad. Jesus was savvy to their thinking and flipped the narrative from condemnation by the law to one of freedom through grace and love.

We believe that we are saved “by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith”. In other words, there is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor or gain eternal life. Christ won all this and more for us through his death and resurrection. Does this mean we don’t need to do the right thing or follow any laws? Absolutely not! We are set free from the law and are justified by grace through faith, not works. In response, we uphold the law of our Lord and land as a matter of principle and praise.

God’s unconditional love comes to us each day. It shows the boundaries, points to the right way and helps us reflect and respond. Will we get it wrong and stuff things up? Absolutely — yet he loves us!

Prayer

Lord, I want to love You with all my heart, all my soul, and with all my mind! Help me to love others equally and show them the love that Christ has shown me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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Pastor Bailey
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