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May 12 | Galatians 3:21-29


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Rule Following vs. Grace

by Elaine Pierce


Are you a rule follower? Or more of a free spirit? I will admit that I love to follow rules, especially when they are easy to follow and when I agree with the rule:). When I don't think a rule is good?


Watch out! I will grumble, complain, and explain why the rule should be immediately changed to suit my beliefs. (Do I sound a bit like a toddler who thinks that a 7 p.m. bedtime is UNFAIR and he should be allowed to stay up all night? Maybe I do...)


Most rules are common sense. Don't touch the stove when it's hot. Don't walk across the street when cars are coming. Eat all your vegetables before you get dessert. Most of us want to be "law abiding citizens," don't we? If we follow the rules, and if we are a "good person," surely we will earn our way into heaven, and God will look with favor on us.


Paul tells us in Galatians 3:24 that following rules, obeying laws, is not the answer: "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." Yes, we need the law - we need rule. When we try to follow the law, we recognize that we simply can't fulfill it perfectly. Paul knew this firsthand. He studied the Torah under Rabbi Gamaliel, considered the best teacher of the day, and strictly observed Jewish law. He zealously persecuted Christians (Acts 22:3-5). But he was missing the most important part of faith: not earned, but freely given. Jesus has paid the price - he is the blood sacrifice for our sins, and all we can do is fall at his feet and worship him.


Paul tried rule following, and he failed, as we will. With grateful hearts, thank God for his gift.


"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are ALL one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:28-29)


Embrace your inheritance as a child of God!


PRAYER

So often, Lord, I wander from your arms. I want to earn my salvation and impress you with my good works. Help me start each day with a joyful heart, grateful for the blessing of eternal life that comes only through your mercy and grace, not through anything I do. Amen.






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