Grace we can live by
Read Ex. 20:1-17
There are three uses of the law according to our forebears in faith. The first use of the law is like a mirror. Sometimes we think because we are not “breaking the law,” we are good and righteous. But when we engage it like a mirror, we can begin to see the ways in which we do not live by the law.
~How does your conscience help you decide between right and wrong?
~What convicts you of the error of your ways?
~Which of the 10 Commandments is most difficult in your life? Which is easiest?
Pray: Holy One, help me see more clearly the shortcomings in my life so that I may rely on you as my light and hope.
Read Ex. 20:1-17
Today consider how the law in this text acts as a curb or boundary marker. In what ways do you obey because “it’s against the law?” How does punishment in general motivate you and specifically, in faith, how does fear about the consequences of breaking the law help you or hinder you in your spiritual growth?
Pray: Thank you, God, for using even my fear of suffering to guide me in your way like a light in the darkness.
Read Ps 19
In this Psalm we see a poetic understanding of a third use of the law. Here we recognize the gift of heaven on earth as we obey the law in gratitude for what God does in our lives. It is God who is using the law to encourage and push us to live a more godly life. In the words of John Calvin,” The Law acts like a whip to the flesh, urging it on as men do a lazy sluggish ass. Even in the case of a spiritual man, inasmuch as he is still burdened with the weight of the flesh, the Law is a constant stimulus, pricking him forward when he would indulge in sloth.”
Pray: Thank you, God, for offering me a vision of what I should not do. Thank you, God, for offering me a vision of what I must do. Thank you, God, that with the law I may begin to exemplify my trust in you by obeying your word.
Read I Cor 1: 18-25
Paul introduces us to the realization that our human obedience and application of the Law tended to make us believe we in charge of our destiny. Humankind, by creating rules to live by, even using the rules God gives us, tends to drive us toward thinking we are wise in our own eyes. For believers to claim God’s presence in a tried and executed criminal is to turn that thinking upside down.
Pray: Christ Jesus, if the law can kill even you, how can I escape the same sentence? Help me understand the foolishness of “wise,” and the wisdom of your life as good news for me.
See you at worship in Loudermilk: Gospel at The Rock, 7:30 p.m.
Read John 2:13-22
What laws are the moneychangers breaking such that Jesus is infuriated with them? How do churches “buy and sell” the faith today? How much would you pay to know God loves you?
Pray: Christ Jesus, drive out the greed in my life.