Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Rules Have Changed!


Galatians 4:4-5
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

In order to grow into mature and responsible adults, children need to be taught the rules of life. It begins with the first "no, no" which guides a toddler away from something harmful and extends far into the teen years with admonitions such as "don't take drugs" or "your curfew is 11:00" with an immeasurable array of rules for home, for school, and in public peppered at them and, hopefully, positively modeled along the way. As parents, we hope and pray that all our encouragements to "play fair, don't hit, be kind, tell the truth, work hard, don't cheat" become so internalized within our children, that we no longer have to repeat our expectations. We can, at long last, trust them to do the right thing even when we are not looking.

Paul compares those living under the law, the Ten Commandments, to little children, heirs, yet not of age, dependent upon the "you shall not" before they can tackle the "you shall". In Christ, however, the rules have changed. Belief in salvation through Him and following His two great commandments, to love God with all of our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves, free us from the law. The ones in whom Christ abides have no need for rules set in stone because they will do what is right and righteous in the sight of God; His laws are now written on their hearts. They are redeemed and worthy to be called the sons and daughters of God, heirs through Christ, our Lord and Savior.

"Great is the love the Father has lavished upon us,
That we should be called the sons and the daughters of God." ~ Steven Curtis Chapman

Readings
Psalms 146, 147 or 111, 112, 113
2 Samuel 24:1-2, 10-25
Galatians 3:23-4:7
John 8:12-20

5 comments:

  1. i tried really hard to avoid telling my kids "no" when they were growing up -- i skipped right to the "jesus part" ;-)

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  2. I wish I had thought of that more often than I did! Thanks, Linda!

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  3. This verse popped into my spirit as I read your blog, Martha from Galatians 5:1 NASB says "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery".

    Very well written, sister!

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  4. I think it equally important to do the right thing even when WE THINK THEY are not looking...

    I try to live this example for not only my own peace of mind but to live by example for my kids. Recently, at the grocery store, I've got stuff loaded in the front of the cart, underneath it and both kids in the back of the cart. I go through the check out, pay and off to the car we go. I start unloading the car when I discover two items in the back of the cart that I did not pay for. So, take the kid go inside, wait in the customer service line, hand over the items that I did not pay for and explain to the lady what happened and she says to me both kids at my side..."oh, wow...thank you for coming back and paying for the product" and I say, "you're welcome; its not ours until we pay for it". I wanted my kids to know exactly what happened, how to handle it and to reinforce the importance of not taking something that does not belong to you.

    Reading this "We can, at long last, trust them to do the right thing even when we are not looking." made me think of that experience, which by the time we got back to the car the kids wanted to talk about it, so we did. Very valuable lesson learned.

    God has allowed me and presented me with the opportunity to do the right thing when no one is looking and given me the courage & strength to carry it out! Which, has not always been the case for me...I shut God out for a l o t of years. I am a believer in God! I've experienced his grace & blessings so many times in my life. Its some of the people|church that I have a problem with...its only been within the last couple of years that I've been able to let go the anger I've felt towards organized religion.

    I am grateful to have come across your blog and to read your daily devotion. I enjoyed visiting...

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  5. Thanks, Bernie, for the compliment and thanks, Amy, for sharing such a terrific example of doing the right thing, especially in front of your kids. I am so fortunate to have such thoughtful, reflective readers like you!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Blessings always!

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