Love Vs. Law

Today is Thursday, February 7, 2019.

Day 22,246

SIX DAYS until Spring Training!

“It’s never just a game when you’re winning.”
George Carlin, U.S. comedian and actor, 1937-2008
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is abstruse. It means, “difficult to comprehend.” (Merriam-Webster)

The wedding music is sounding better every day. The bride-to-be is coming over tonight to listen. I hope I don’t let the nervousness and anxiety get the best of me, and that it sounds at least as good as it did last night. Would you believe . . . practice actually helps!!! Amazing!! Hahaha!

Not much else going on, right now. My energy will be almost entirely consumed with this wedding until it is over. Which is next Friday. Rehearsal on Wednesday.

C is getting an adjustment/correction on one of her eyes tomorrow, from the Lasik surgery she had a few months back. I plan to take off a couple hours early so I can go pick her up.

Speaking of eyes, I have an eye doctor appointment Saturday morning. I’m a bit overdue, as I didn’t have one at all last year. Doctors want one since I have type 2 Diabetes. Speaking of that, my blood sugar levels are much better since 1) I began taking that additional medication, and 2) I started taking my diet more seriously. I have drastically cut down on sugary snacks. You know, like candy. Which I love.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.
1 Timothy 4:4

Today I am grateful:
1. That my practice is paying off.
2. For the nice temperatures we have had over the past few days. It’s getting cold tonight.
3. For the grace of God that can help me deal with various issues in my life.
4. That God began freeing me from the confines of legalism years ago.
5. That I am able to love (but I still have much work to do on that).

Almighty, everlasting God,
let our prayer in your sight be as incense,
the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice.
Give us grace to behold you,
present in your Word and Sacraments,
and to recognize you in the lives of those around us.
Stir up in us the flame of that love which 
burned in the heart of your Son as he bore his passion,
and let it burn in us to eternal life
to the ages of ages. Amen.

(The Book of Common Prayer)

(From Faith That Matters)

Today’s reading is “Freed From Legalism To Love,” by Brennan Manning.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations . . . according to human precepts and teachings?
Colossians 2:20, 22

The idea of legalism has been a topic in this blog before. “A reliance on ceremonies and the observances of commandments too easily leads to a false trust in the external elements of religion and creates a mystique of spiritual superiority.” You only have to look at the Pharisees to see the truth of that statement. “Does the neutral onlooker identify a Christian by his pious practices and cultic regularity or by the loving quality of his everyday presence in the workaday world?”

That’s an excellent question, Mr. Manning! Let’s make it personal. How do people on the “outside” view me in my daily practice? Do I come across as someone who loves unconditionally, following the commands of Christ, or do I come across as more “Old Testamenty,” demanding adherence to a set of rules?

When every choice or decision is based on black and white rules, the law becomes “an end in itself rather than a means to an end.” While there certainly some things that are black and white, there are also many things that are more “gray.” Some things are just more complicated than we want to accept. Life is easier in black and white.

“Jesus resolutely insisted that law was the expression of the love of God and neighbor and that piety that stands in the way of love stands in the way of God himself.”

Our highest expression of spirituality is love, not law. Love God; love people.

Father, I am so grateful that You began freeing me from legalism a number of years ago. I confess, and how well You know, that I was caught up in that at one point in my life. But You showed me the “better way.” Thank You, Lord.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The Lord bless you and keep you. Amen.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. Amen.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia. Alleluia.
(The Book of Common Prayer)

Soli Deo Gloria!

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