Sunday, September 14, 2008
Get Rid of Rules, Once and For All!
Everywhere we go it seems we are having to learn the rules or laws that must be kept in order to not be punished. We have driving laws, school rules, social rules, contest rules, tax laws....its never ending! As parents, we are encouraged to come up with about 5 family rules to establish expectations and order in our homes.
Our conscience, regardless of our religious faith, helps us make choices between right and wrong. It responds to moral law stamped in our hearts from birth and more closely, it is linked to our family law we grew up under. Our con'science' is not a perfect science...a little pun on the word. It can be weak because we were conditioned with overly strict, very legalistic expectations. It can be seared because we ignored it so much and did whatever felt good in the present that it can't even tell right from wrong anymore. It can also be mature. A mature conscience has been spiritually trained and accurately reflects God's standards/ view regarding behavior. God's standards are based on the absolutes in His written Word, the Holy Bible.
While our conscience can be helpful...it also can be warped...and it is not the same thing as the Holy Spirit who can live in us. When we accept Jesus as the Lord of our life, and desire a loving relationship with Him more than anything else. This love relationship can lead, follow or come at the same time we recognize our need for help from the pain and bondage of living under making so many wrong decisions, living in sin. We often get to a point that we feel loaded up with guilt when we do anything we perceive to be wrong.
God created you and me because He wanted to have a loving relationship with us. It had no thing to do with getting us to follow a bunch of rules and laws....that is religion! It is also known in churchy-circles as legalism. God's solution to our to free us from the pain and suffering caused be sin is provided through grace! His grace to us is and always will be sufficient for any need we have because all sin was paid in full by Jesus on the cross. That is why there is no guilt or condemnation for anyone who is in Christ Jesus! Don't be saved and stuck in a life of guilt.
It all comes down to the LAW OF ONE! A relationship of love is what God wants for us not a life filled with rules. The law of one is Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, With All Your Soul and With All Your Strength. (period).... This is Deuteronomy 6:5 which was repeated again by Jesus in the New Testament. God tells us that these are the words that we are commanded to have in our heart. This Law of One, the Law of Love, is what we are to diligently teach our children. We are to talk to them about it when we sit around in the house, when we take a walk or run an errand, when we return home getting ready for bed and when we rise up in the morning preparing for a new day.
This relationship of love should be something that we creatively make into the designs on our clothes, jewelry, accessories and home decorations. We should find a nice way to post this loving relationship reminder on the entry way to our home and even in our yard...maybe on a gate, mailbox or garage door. Frankly, we need to do anything we can to help everyone in our family (including ourselves) to observe and not forget this loving relationship that will have an impact on everything we do everyday of our life.
How many sins can keep you away from an open relationship with God -One! How many times did Jesus have to die for each and every sin - One! How many times do you need to get saved - One! How times can you be regenerated and born from the spirit above - One! How many rules and laws do you need to remember to obey - One!
Can you allow yourself this freedom? Can you erase your traditions, family ways, controlling false beliefs? Can you dare to be free from a life of laws and rules? Can you trust yourselves, others, and most importantly, God? Can you finally live in grace and a loving relationship with God? Check your motivation, are you walking with God because you love Him or is a fear, guilt, looking good, being accepted that motivates you?
You see, GRACE is the answer to Rules. If you live by His grace, if you love Him with all of your heart, if you listen to His still quiet voice, if you speedily repent of known sin, if you just let yourselves be overwhelmed by His precious adoration and acceptance of YOU, you can live by love and not by laws.
This is the big IF - if you are "in Christ" - You are Free! Salvation is not free, it is so expensive you can't afford it! Once saved, you accept Jesus' provision for spiritual guilt. Jesus paid it on the cross.
What you are left with is emotional guilt. Why would you try to continue to emotionally be guilty for something that Jesus already paid for spiritually! After you are in Christ, you will never be happy living in sin. The Holy Spirit, living in you, will motivated you by conviction.
This is the good news - the freedom, hope and healing - sought for by people of every Nation!
Are you ready, able, to trade your life of rules for the most incredible, satisfying, constant love relationship available? The choice is yours!