Today’s scriptures are Deuteronomy 23-25:19; Luke 10:13-37; Psalm 75:1-10; Proverbs 12:12-14.
After reading today’s passages all I could think was “All the rules, rules, rules, rules!” It reminded me of the Grinch when he holds his head and says, “All the noise, noise, noise, noise!” I am a rule follower for the most part. I generally see things as black and white. I usually feel uncomfortable when someone is bending the rules, and will say something like, “I don’t think you should be doing that.” I’m not one to put my toe over the line very often.
The scriptures in Deuteronomy are full of rules. There are rules for hygiene, rules for holiness, rules for relationships, and rules for worship. How can one keep up with it all? I know I couldn’t. I’d go crazy trying to make sure that I was staying within the lines. I would need to have a book with an alphabetical index that included cross-references to make sure that everything I was doing was within the rules. And you know what, I would still fail. As much as I try to follow rules, I am still a sinner, saved by grace, but a sinner still the same. I still fall. I still fail. I still stumble.
But, I can’t lose hope. The rules show me that I can not be holy. It is impossible. That is why I need Christ; the savior and pure Lamb of God. And look at what Jesus told the expert in religious law in Luke chapter 10:25-28. He told him that it all boils down to one rule: to love God with all your heart, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. That seems much more manageable to me. It doesn’t erase my need for a savior, but it does erase the need to remember a zillion rules. I can remember one and use it to check myself. “If I love God and my neighbor, is this the right thing to do?”
I am so grateful for God’s gift of grace. I am thankful that I don’t have to carry around a library full of rule books, and that I have been made righteous through the blood of Christ. It’s no longer about the rules I follow or break. It’s about my heart and relationship with God; loving him with all that is within me.