Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Motivated by love

I'm still on my extended journey of reading through Romans. This weekend I was in Romans 13 and 14, and here's some of what I took away from Romans 13...

Romans 13:8-10 (NASB) Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

and this brought me to going back and taking a look at Matthew 22...

Matthew 22:37-40 And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

First, Matthew 13:8, owe nothing to anyone except to love one another... this reminds me of the Proverb that states the borrower is slave to the lender. Having been in debt myself, and by God's grace having been freed from it, I all too well know the burden and slavery that come with debt. The weight of oppression that a person has while under debt's grasp... the hopelessness that can sink in. I can understand why Scripture speaks about out debt, and how God would want his children to be free from it, free to follow Him, rather than living under the strain of paying back their debts, and being under control of the lenders of those debts. I could write more on this topic, but this wasn't the point of my post, so I'll get back to where I was heading...

I love how the Scriptures above reference love as the fulfillment of the law. We know that by Jesus' blood we were saved from the law, but so often as Christians we take on the law ourselves, we make rules about not to do certain things (like being drunk, engaging in premarital sex, having an abortion etc.). Before I was a Christian I was under the impression that Christianity was about rules, that those rules were what separated me from people who were Christians, and I wasn't sure that I was ready to follow all of those rules. The self-imposed laws of Christians were a hindrance to me hearing the Gospel, and seeing it displayed in the lives of others.

I love how the Scriptures above instruct us that walking with Christ is not about a list of rules or laws, but that it can be summed up into loving God, and loving others as ourselves (the Golden Rule... do unto others as you would have them do unto you). We need not say anymore to not steal, not commit murder, not commit adultery etc., we simply need to focus on loving our God with all of our hearts, and loving others as ourselves and this would keep us from such actions... it's not loving to our brothers to murder, steal, or cheat on our spouses. So our motivations need not be set to rules, but we simply need to allow the love of Christ to compel us and guide us as we are motivated in love.



Penny Franklin said...

As always... so inspiring! I love your passion for the Word! Keep it up girl!

Ace said...

Great to see you digging into the Word like this. Keep it up and keep posting it. I love Bible study and love to see what others have mined there.

Many Blessings :)