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October 22 | Matthew 5:17-22


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Dotting my I's and Crossing my T's

by Mary Alice McGinnis


Recently I was preparing for some time off from work to go on vacation. As much as I was looking forward to our vacation time in the Smokey Mountains, I was stressing about making sure all my I’s were dotted and my T’s crossed at work and at home. I laid awake at night thinking about all my responsibilities, the things I needed to have covered while I was off.


Then there was picking up some last minute items at the store, stopping the mail delivery, getting the laundry done, washing the last dishes, and of course the packing.


My list seemed endless. I kept asking myself, “What if I forget something? What if something does not get done? What will go wrong while I am away?”


I believe there is also this same haunting feeling in the depths of our souls.


“What if I don’t make the right decision?

What if I don’t measure up?

What if I fail?

If I don’t do what I am supposed to do? What terrible things will happen as a result?”


God has designed our hearts to be in perfect communion with Him. His plan from the beginning was to bring us into a perfect Covenant relationship with Him. He spelled out for us through all of Scripture exactly what living in that Covenant relationship would look like.


Yet, as much as we try to ignore it or deny it, we KNOW we have failed. If we are honest with ourselves, it is blatantly obvious that we have NOT loved God with our whole heart, nor our neighbors as ourselves.


The beginning words of Jesus in today’s reading don’t seem to give us much hope.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets . . .”


In fact, Jesus says that God’s Word, every word, even down to the slightest stroke of the pen MATTER! In the original language of the Old Testament, Hebrew, there were small letters, a jot, and a tittle, that could completely change the meaning of a word. Even each letter matters!


Listen again to what Jesus says, “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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter (a jot), not the least stroke of a pen (a tittle), will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”


This is the beautiful part of God’s Covenant! Jesus FULLFILLS IT ALL!!


Romans 10:4 says, “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”


Let Jesus’ declaration from the cross soothe your weary soul.


“Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, He bowed his head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30


He has blotted out all of our I's, "I must do this, and I must do that."


Instead He points to His fulfillment on the cross.


Let’s reframe our thinking.

Jesus made all the right decisions. He followed God perfectly.


Jesus measured up to all of God’s expectations and was His Beloved Son in Whom He was well please.


Because Jesus NEVER fails, I am free to rest in His loving care and forgiveness.


Even when I fail, Jesus’ blood on the cross has redeemed me. Nothing can happen to me that God has not covered in Jesus’ sacrificial love for me.


Jesus is your righteousness. He stood in your place. Hold tightly to Him as the One who has fulfilled everything FOR YOU.



PRAYER PRACTICE

God, I confess my relentless pursuit of trying on my own to measure up. I come before you now and openly confess that I have NOT loved you with my whole heart. I see in my day-to-day actions that I have failed to love my neighbor as myself. Please wash me clean of my failures.


Jesus, You have fulfilled ALL I need to be when you died for me on the Cross and proclaimed, "It is finished!" Fill me with your Holy Spirit to live my life joyfully and freely in grateful praise back to YOU!








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1 Comment


stacy.schad
Oct 22, 2022

Jesus is the Word-- perfect Word.

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