Monday, April 22, 2013

A Thought for Monday 4/22/13

“One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”  Proverb 28:9

“John Wesley believed that the law and the gospel are two sides of the same coin.  When behaviors are commanded, they are law; when promised by God, they are gospel.  So the law has three uses: convicting people of sin, bringing them to Christ, and then guiding them in their Christian life”  (Commentary, Wesley Study Bible, pg 93).

In Christianity too much is made about the Church being “under grace” rather than under law.  It is true enough that the Lord’s mercy is abundant, but divine grace cannot be used as a reason or an excuse for being altogether removed from the law based on one statement by one writer.  The Law of Moses teaches people of faith how to live and work and worship WITH one another in God; it is how the people of the Lord are distinguished from those who have no time or desire for the Lord.  Besides this, how can we claim Jesus as “savior” if we completely disconnect Him from His eternal Source; the Holy Father?  Jesus is the Law fulfilled (that is, perfected); this does not mean the Law is over and done with.  Remember that a “house divided against itself cannot stand”.  If this is true under one situation, surely it must be true altogether under any situation. 

So the proverb expresses a spiritual reality for the people of the Lord; if we will not listen to God (ironically in the name of Jesus, the Son of God), how would we come to believe our Lord will listen to us?  When we pray, we should be mindful that we are asking for an audience with our Lord, whether alone or with the congregation of the faithful.  We claim to live within an Eternal Covenant with our God, but we can never assume this Covenant lacks terms.

We are honor-bound to observe all that the Lord has commanded us to observe, from the beginning to the very end of our time on this earth.  In this observation, reverence, and respect, we will discover in this journey not that we had been duped or tricked or hindered in any way.  Rather we will discover blessings we have yet to experience when we fully and completely submit ourselves to our Lord, the King of endless Glory and the very Author of Life itself.  We cannot “take” these blessings; they are only given by the One who is worshiped, adored, and obeyed in adoration – for His purposes, not our own.


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