Sunday, June 27, 2010

We should freely give our love to God.

17"If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"
(Galatians 2:17-21)

This was always confusing to me. I always believed that in order to prove that you are a true follower of Jesus, you must follow the law. It never occurred to me that Paul was talking about the difference between doing things because of a desire to follow the rules, and doing things in order to show your love for God. The two thought processes are absolutely different.

Often, we don't speed because of a fear of getting caught and paying a fine. However, the motive for not speeding should be caring for the safety of all those on the road. The first way of thinking is following the law because of a proposed consequence for not following the law. The second way of thinking is following the law because of a concern for others. One is considered "law-works" and the second is considered "heart-works".

Paul in this passage is talking about the fact that Jesus already paid the price for our sins, so we should not be so worried about the "law-works". We will not spend eternity with God because of anything we have done or because of anything we might do. We have already received that gift from our loving God. If we follow the rules, it should be because of our desire to show love and gratitude for the gift we have been given by God in Jesus. We should do things out of love, because we want to, not because we fear we will loose something of have to pay something if we don't.

If you love, there are many things that you will do for your beloved, far above and beyond what is required. If you love, you will do most anything to show your love for your beloved. God has shown us love in giving us the ultimate gift of Jesus. There is no greater gift that God could have given us.

God wants us to show our love in the same way. We offer ourselves as the greatest gift we can give to God. We offer our love, our life, and all that we do, because of our great love for God. Just as Jesus gave of himself by his own free will, we give God the gift of ourselves of our free will. We must do this out of love, not because we are afraid of the consequences.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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