Friday, August 26, 2016

The Law of Love

Whenever we talk about law in the Bible, folks just get uneasy.  They avoid eye-contact and are clearly ready for me to change the subject.  Sometimes that is because they are convicted by something they have done, or are still doing, that goes against God’s Law.  They don’t like to hear that God’s Law simply provides more detail to the Covenant.  In other words, they don’t like to hear that, if they want to walk together with God, they need to change.

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV)

Sometimes, though, they are squirming because they always fall asleep whenever they try to read the book of Leviticus.  In other words, they don’t know God’s Law because they’ve never read it.  In that case, I like to remind them that the Israelites didn’t know all of the Law either.  That’s why they had judges at various levels to handle disputes.  That’s why they had prophets and teachers (Rabbis) who would explain when they had a question.  I simply remind them to start by loving God with everything and loving their neighbor who is made in the image of God.  That’s always a good start.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:13-14 NIV)

Remembering the “top two” isn’t a replacement for knowing God’s Covenant (Ten Commandments) and God’s Law (The Details).  But, it is a summary of the Law.  So, start with those two, move on to the ten, and add the details as you go along in life.  Never forget, though, that all of them are driven by love.

How about you?  Do you know the two, the ten, and the details of the Law?  Do you remember the law of love?  Do you live it?