Every household has their particular "house rules". In some homes the rule is that no one is allowed to wear shoes inside. Some tie weekly allowances for the kids to a list of chores that must be completed. I grew up with the expectation of being a member of the "clean plate club" - which has caused damage to my waist line over the years!
Before Jesus came, the Old Testament Law spelled out in detail 613 specific ways that the Israelites were expected to act in relation to God and to others in order to live in harmony with God. In addition to those, the religious leaders added hundreds more to the list in order to clarify and further expand on the Law of Moses. It resulted in a burden that no one was able to keep perfectly. And that was part of God's plan: that our experience of being unable to be "good enough" would prepare us to joyfully receive the Grace of God through salvation offered by faith in Jesus and his death and resurrection. Through our commitment to Jesus, we experience forgiveness, a brand new life, and the very presence of the Holy Spirit within us to guide us in obedience to God as our master. As Hebrews 10:16 says:
“This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
But it's hard for us to give up the "rule following" approach to following Jesus. We're hardwired to try to earn God's love through our behavior, thinking that if we do "good things" and don't do "bad things", then God will approve and give us His love. It's always a good practice to try to honor God in everything we do (or choose not to do). But it should be as a response to God's salvation, not as our way of earning it. Otherwise, we end up denying the power and sufficiency of Jesus' work on the cross! We, in essence, are saying, "Jesus' death and resurrection was wonderful and important, but it wasn't enough. I need to add my own contribution in order for me to be considered righteous." Do you see how wrong this way of thinking is and how insulting it is to God?!
And worse yet, we then find ourselves turning and judging others around us based on our list of "do's and don'ts". We shove God off of his throne and place ourselves in His role as judge over both Christians and not-yet-Christians, thinking that we can do a better job. All of this is known as judgmentalism and it's sin.
This Sunday, June 16th, we'll continue in our study through the book of Colossians as we look at Colossians 2:16-23. We're called to be Rooted in Jesus, Not Rules! I hope you'll be able to join us.
June 16th, is not only Father's Day, but it's the day for our next Potluck BBQ!
Plan on sticking around after worship and enjoy some food and fellowship. You can contribute by bringing a side dish or dessert to share, but the meat is all provided.
Hope to see you there!
Due to some scheduling conflicts, we've had to postpone our time of honoring this year's high school graduates until next Sunday, June 23rd. At that time, we'll celebrate with these young adults during our morning worship, present them with bibles, and pray God's blessing and guidance as they move into the next chapter of their lives. It's with mixed feelings as we see our kids grow up and head out, but we have the confidence that God goes with them.
Here are the Seniors who have been a part of our youth ministry:
Lucia Clay Lillian Cooley Spencer Hoffner Brady Moriarty
Amelia Oborne Zach Strong Tanner White
Please remember to pray for these young people as they head into the next chapter of their lives.
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church