Saturday, February 21, 2009

Love Really Is The Answer

"The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Romans 13:9-10

I have just a few quick thoughts this morning as it's just the kids and I, and I'd like to spend some time with them this morning and not be in front of my computer. I've had many thoughts swimming through my head the last few weeks with all sorts of things to blog about. I've been in Proverbs the last two days, and so many of those have jumped out. Yet, when I come to sit down to blog, all these thoughts either evade me or come at once. It seems I need a journal to journal, if that makes any sense.

Anyway, this morning I jumped on here and I always read the verse of the day. Sometimes they really catch my attention, and this morning was one of those mornings. One of the thoughts I've been dwelling on and talking to God about is all the different rules and laws and whatnot that are in the Bible. I mean, if a person strives to follow every single rule that was presented in the Bible at one time or another, a person would go mad, or it would literally be impossible. And I have been slowly wrapping my thoughts around what I'm thinking of, and looking up the verses to understand what I am thinking. But this verse today just takes care of a whole bunch of thoughts at once, because once again, it comes down to love. If you look at the Ten Commandments, love is at the heart of each and every one of them. Because if you love, it won't cross your mind to murder someone. If you love, adultery won't be a temptation. If you are a loving person, you won't covet, and you won't dishonor your parents. If you open yourself up to God's Love, then there really should be no reason why the Ten Commandments should be hard to keep.

If you love God, you'll want to remember the Sabbath, I know I look forward to Sunday's and going to church, sometimes twice in one day. I'm going to go off on a bunny trail on this one. I'm thinking specifically of the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It's been a while since I've read them, but I clearly remember a scene where Laura is complaining to Pa that it was Sunday, and she wanted to do something, and Pa told her to be grateful the rules weren't as strict as when he was a kid, and simply had to sit and do nothing all day long, because to do anything was considered work, and it broke the rule about keeping the Sabbath. Now I'm sure that there are those who would love to go into the details about the specific Sabbath, but for me, it's all about attitude. See, when I get up Sunday morning, I get excited, because it is Sunday, and I get to go to church and worship God and spend time in His Presence with a fellowship of believers. And sometimes, I just want that so much, we go back again in the evening for a second service. Then, later in the week, I look forward to going back to church again on Wednesday, because I just know that He's got something more to tell me. And I'll tell you, if all I could do was sit on a bench all day long on Sunday, it would be a wonderful thing to do if I was doing it while in the Presence of God. I could sit on a bench for days if it meant being in His Presence.

And it all comes back to that love. I love God so much, that I could treat every day as a Sabbath if I had no other cares to tend to. I love being filled with His Love and sharing that love with other people. It all comes down to love. If we can love our God, our family, our friends, our neighbors, and ourselves, it seems that everything else will just fall into place.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-2

5 comments:

Rina said...

Erika, I enjoyed your post today. I think so many people get tied down in the "law" because they don't understand its relationship to us as God's children. The commandments tell us HOW we are supposed to love God (John 14:15, 15:10). One thing you wrote that I do want to comment on, though is: "Because if you love, it won't cross your mind to murder someone. If you love, adultery won't be a temptation." The premise seems to be (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that we don't have to be concerned with the commandments, because as long as we're walking in love, we'll sort of "automatically" be keeping them. The reason I want to address this is because there are many people who considere themselves Christians, who truly believe they are walking in love, who are living lifestyles of sin. For instance, I have a relative who is a homosexual. She believes wholeheartedly that homosexuality is okay and her definition of "love" includes being intimate with other women. Love ultimately points us toward the commandments, because it shows us what GOD'S definition of love is. A thorough study of the bible tells us that Gods definition of love does not include homosexuality. A study of the Torah (Old Testament) reveals that God's definition of love includes keeping the Sabbath. I wholeheartedly agree with you that we shouldn't keep God's commandments out of obligation (Jesus removed our obligation at the cross), but out of a sincere desire to show love toward God, and have His love made manifest in us.

Rina said...

I was just reading over my last comment and realized something I wrote may not have made sense. I wrote: "I think so many people get tied down in the 'law' because they don't understand its relationship to us as God's children." What I meant was that many people either get caught up in legalism in an effort to keep the law in order to merit God's favor, or they throw out the commandments altogether. I think that neither of these extremes are healthy, nor are they God's best for us.

Erika W. said...

Hmm, I think I didn't phrase myself correctly maybe. (It was a crazy morning.) You are right in that I didn't really mean to say that it is automatic that we'll follow the commandments, and I think I didn't come across entirely correct either. It's more of a, well, if you are focused on God and focused on loving God than you will follow His commandments out of love, that it won't be a struggle to follow them because you will want to please God so much that you wouldn't dream of not following them.

I recently read an interview with a once-prominent Christian artist who came out in recent months, and I just could not believe that this man thought his gay lifestyle was pleasing to God, that God made him that way for a reason... how the devil just works his way in and twists the truth to be something that we want to hear, versus what we need to hear.

Erika W. said...

I hear you, too on the legalism. Our guest Pastor today did a fantastic sermon on just that thing, I'm going to be framing a few nuggets of it for a post this week, because when we're focused on the law itself, and all the rules and regulations, we're not looking at the reasons for those laws- the meanings behind them, and whether they are even meant for us as an individual. God created each and every one of us to be different, yet with the same desire to worship and love him.

Rina said...

"if you are focused on God and focused on loving God than you will follow His commandments out of love, that it won't be a struggle to follow them because you will want to please God so much that you wouldn't dream of not following them."

I agree! :)