Archive for March, 2010

Christ is the Fulfillment of the Law

  Daily God Walk Monday, March 15, 2009

 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.     – Matthew 5:17

 The people had been struggling under the load of traditions that had been placed on the Law and they were overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. For the common man in Judea when one spoke of the Law they combined the Law and the traditions into one and no one could live it.

When Jesus came he spoke differently and his message offered hope. They were starting to believe that they could make it. Then he says that he did not come to destroy the Law. I am sure that what they were hearing initially was what they had been taught, that the Law and the traditions were one. What were they to think now?

Today we know that something about the Law certainly changed because of Christ, but what changed? The Law given to Moses set up a standard by which a person could be judged. The Law itself pointed out the distinction between God and man.

Man made his will clear at the fall and that was to pursue wisdom and fulfillment on his own. God recognized that and gave a pattern of life that would bring the fulfillment man sought. The problem was that man was driven by his soulish nature to fulfill the desires of the flesh. For 1000’s of years there was a standoff; God was saying, “You can have it but you have to obey me,” and man was saying, “I want it my way.”

Jesus told them that he didn’t come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. How did he fulfill the Law? Because the very purpose for which the Law was given was completed in Christ. The purpose of the Law was to lead man to submit his will to God and follow him to fulfillment. Jesus fulfilled the Law and now it is him living out the will of God in us.

The grace of God released upon believers is more than just being reconciled to God, our sins forgiven and given a hope for eternity. The grace of God is the righteousness of God being imputed to us and our hearts being changed to desire the will of God over our own will.

The purpose of the Law is fulfilled in those who trust Jesus Christ.

 Principle: The purpose of the Law is fulfilled in those who trust Christ.

 Affirmation:  I am righteous before God because I have trusted Christ.

 Prayer:  Thank you Father for the Christ that now abides in me. Amen.

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You Are the Light of the World

 Principle:  Jesus taught that we are to be a catalyst for change.

 Affirmation:  Lives are changed by the grace of God in me.

 Prayer:  Lord, I don’t want to be salt that has lost its saltiness. Help me to remain ready for your use. In Jesus name, amen.

Daily God Walk for Sunday, March 14, 2009

 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16

 Have you ever heard someone say, “My religion is a private matter?” What they usually mean is that they really don’t want to be bothered by religion. They have it figured out to their own satisfaction and they don’t need to talk about it.

I wonder if they make that same application about sports. You know the guy who says, “I like sports, but I don’t want to talk about it,” or, “Yeah, I have a favorite team, but I never discuss it because it’s private.” Do you know that person? No? Neither do I because the person who likes sports talks about sports. If they have a favorite team they probably know all the players and their personal stats and they talk about it.

You see, when a person truly believes in something they aren’t afraid to talk about it. Usually the things a person is reluctant to talk are the things they aren’t very sure about or don’t know much about.

Jesus made the bold statement which is also a mandate; “You are the light of the world.” Being a light to shine into the darkness around us is not an option – it is a command. We produce light because we are light. If the environment in which we have exposure is not well lit it is not because of the environment it is because our light is not shining.

Many are saying, “Well, I have the truth and the truth is enough to draw people.” Don’t confuse truth with light. Truth is an absolute and light is a condition. If people do not see your light in the truth you present they will not believe your truth.

If you have truly been born again and moved from darkness into the light you have become light. The world around you needs to see the light of hope that you represent – don’t hide it from them!

  Principle: You are light to the world – don’t hide your light.

 Affirmation:  I let my light shine so that others can see Christ in me.

 Prayer:  Lord, it is easy for my light to become dimmed by the desires of this world. Grant me the grace to ever shine for you. In Jesus name.

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You Are the Salt of the Earth

Daily God Walk for Saturday, March 13, 2009

  You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.    – Matthew 5:13

 Why did Jesus use the analogy of salt? How are we the salt of the earth? To understand that question we must know a little bit about how salt was used in that time.

We use salt today as a preservative and as an agent to bring out the taste in food. Those are two of the purposes for which salt was used in ancient times, but there were many others. Among the other uses was a ceremonial use in the old covenant, it was used as a fire catalyst and it was also used as a fertilizer according to some accounts.

It seems that in every use of salt it is a catalyst to enhance the use of the thing being salted. Whether it is a preservative, a flavor enhancer, a fire enhancer, a fertilizer, or, as in some cases, an antiseptic to aid in healing, it’s use is the same; it is a catalyst to enhance the thing being salted.

We don’t know which of these applications Jesus was referring to. However, one thing is clear: Jesus is teaching us that we are to be a catalyst for change. We are the salt that draws people to Christ; we are the salt that releases the preserving qualities of the Holy Spirit upon the kingdom; we are the salt that adds flavor to the world.

Luke records another time Jesus used the analogy of salt. He was calling disciples to commitment when he said, “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out” (14:34-35).

Many believe Luke’s passage refers to the practice in ancient times when outdoor ovens had blocks of salt on the bottom. The salt would enhance the fire making it burn better. Over time the salt would use its ability to help the fire and would actually affect the cooking process so it would have to be thrown out because it was no longer of use.

Are you useful to Christ in his kingdom?

 Principle:  Jesus taught that we are to be a catalyst for change.

 Affirmation:  Lives are changed by the grace of God in me.

 Prayer:  Lord, I don’t want to be salt that has lost its saltiness. Help me to remain ready for your use. In Jesus name, amen.

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Rejoice You Blessed Ones

Daily God Walk for Friday, March 12, 2009

 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  – Matthew 5:12

 Jesus said, “Rejoice when you are insulted because you have a reward waiting for you.” There is no escaping the response the world has to committed believers, but there is a time of eternal blessing waiting for those who will follow him.

The main idea that Jesus seems to be promoting in this passage is that we should hold on to our faith regardless of what is happening around us. If we are poor we do not need to rejoice in being poor, but we should rejoice in knowing that even though we are poor God is watching out for us and is blessing us.

If we have suffered loss then we should not be afraid to mourn, but in our mourning we must remember that he is right there with us and he will not withhold his blessing from us.

He addresses the merciful, the meek and the peacemakers. Each of these require a certain grace in the way that we respond to others. He also speaks of being persecuted and insulted for being a person of faith and he addresses the manner in which we should respond to those circumstances as well.

How are we to respond? “Rejoice and be glad” for our hope is not in this world but in the eternal home he has prepared for us.

A story is told of a missionary who had returned home by ship from a life of service in a foreign field. There was a large crowd waiting at the dock to greet the passengers as they left the ship. One by one the passengers were greeted by their friends and loved ones. Finally, the last to leave the ship was the missionary and there was not one person left on the dock to greet him.

The missionary felt very bad and lamented so to the Lord. Then he heard that small voice inside him say, “My son, you’re not home yet.”

Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven!

 Principle:  Rejoice in disappointment and know you’re not home yet.

 Affirmation:  There is joy in my sorrow because I have seen tomorrow.

 Prayer:  Thank you for the hope that is in Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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