Matthew 22:37-39 has Jesus telling us to love God with all that we are and have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. He also says that all the laws and the prophets hang on this spiritual law of love. So, do you follow the letter of the law and outwardly perform the principles of the ten commandments or do you follow God’s law of love and apply the principles from the heart? That’s the difference between legalism and grace.
Years ago, Pastor G and I attended a very legalistic fellowship which was focused on doing what God commanded rather than being love towards God, others and self. There’s a huge difference. There is no grace or mercy in legalism, just spiritual militance. Pastor G and I pray that you know the difference and that you have chosen to follow Jesus and live His law of love as opposed to just following the laws God gave.
It’s amazing the difference spiritual love makes. It prevents the barriers of judgmentalism and standards we can’t possibly meet. It opens the door to compassion and relationship and sharing freely. There are times when all of us need to share what’s in our hearts. Wouldn’t you rather approach a brother or sister in Christ who you believe will be there for you in God’s love as opposed to risking sharing what’s in your heart and being unfairly judged? I know I have held back from sharing because of those concerns. God wants us to bear each other’s burdens and not each other’s judgments.
Life gets hard sometimes. I know I prefer to hear “I’m sorry it’s so hard for you” as opposed to “God hates murmurers and complainers” any day. If you have found yourself to be judgmental and want to change, God is here to support and encourage you while doing so. If you are hurting and need encouragement, I pray God sends encouragers across your path to lift you up. You can always reach out to Pastor G and me. God has given us the wonderful gift of encouragement, and we’ll be glad to send some your way!
copyright April 2013, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved