Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 29, 2020
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17
At a social engagement I recently attended, I had an extended conversation with someone who works as a personal trainer. With chips and queso in hand, I attentively listened as he told me all about the inner workings of fitness culture, doing my best to find points of agreement, and quickly asking questions to divert the attention away from my dinner plate and own lack of time in the gym! At one point I asked him, “Is it hard to watch everyone in the gym using exercise machines without knowing how to properly engage them for maximum benefit?” His response was most enlightening. “Yes, absolutely! People can use a machine and follow the instructions, but they actually are often harming their bodies because they don’t realize how these movements are interconnected. My job as a trainer is to help people understand how it all fits together, the harmony of how the body is meant to truly work.”
I’ve thought about this conversation a good bit over the past week. People know the gym is meant to make you strong, yet why then do so many of us go to the gym and not actually get strong? Similarly, why do so many of us have a head full of rules and knowledge about God, yet struggle to see any real growth in our journey of faith?
In Jesus’ day, every Jew knew the law was given to “make you strong.” It was a way to know the will of God and meant to keep you close to him. Yet, in keeping with our analogy, Jesus comes on the scene and tells the people of God something revolutionary: you have all the right machines and exercises but you don’t actually understand what you’re doing! You focus on the detailed instructions, but you have failed to see how it holds together and the way in which the commands of the Lord are truly for your good.
Jesus invites us to see how the law of the Lord is meant to transform our innermost being. The teaching of God and the transformation of our lives are not in competition or conflict! You and I must celebrate and rejoice in the commands of the Lord, and fully believe in the power of God to transform our innermost being. As the psalmist says, “Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart” (Psalm 119:2).
Rather than simply following a set of rules or instructions, the Lord wants you to see the way in which his salvation extends to the deepest depths of your being. He longs to heal your actions, but also longs to heal your heart. As you delight in his will, invite him to daily show you how his Spirit is at work in every aspect of your life, conforming you more and more into the likeness of his son, Jesus Christ.
Father, thank you that your healing love extends to the depths of our being, renewing and restoring us by your grace. Amen.
Where have you rushed into following the rules and instructions of faith without first inviting the Lord to show you how it holds together and is fulfilled in him?
We celebrate and rejoice in the commands of the Lord, and fully believe in the power of God to transform our innermost being. #wisdomhunters #transform #truth #Jesus
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