As humans we naturally do not like rules. We don’t like being told what to do. But the concept of law is meant for our good. Oh I know, we have messed the concept up terribly, but lets think about it. The laws, or rules, by which something functions properly is directly related to its complexity. The rockets that supply the International Space Station are incredibly complex. They have very precise standards by which they must operate. If any small part of those rules is ignored, treated as optional, the whole mission is jeopardized. Humans are the most complex system ever created. Why do we think it so strange that the Creator has given a set of rules or laws by which people function best? Yet we continually rationalize around and ignore God’s laws. There are really two kinds of laws in Scripture, those that were intended to train a primitive people in the desert, and those meant universally for mankind’s good. Jesus fulfilled all laws perfectly. The first type no longer apply, but can be instructive. The second type are only ignored to our own hurt because that violates the way our Maker intended us to live. As we read the Scripture let us try to understand what God is saying, and not be so willing to brush God’s word aside.
The sign on the highway says the speed limit is 65 mph. It is there because of a state statute that mandates the maximum speed limit on this states highways is 65. The road engineers who laid out the road determined that this was a safe speed according to their design. There is a lot of discussion about this limit. Certain groups of people believe that it really means that 70 and 75 miles per hour is an acceptable speed to drive. Others have formed a coalition to get various organization to support them in driving at 75 mph. Others believe no limit should be imposed. Let everyone do what they think is best. And the ones who drive at the faster rate believe that the slower drivers should be respected for their conscience, but do it in the far right lane away from the others. The police are there, but they are fundamentalists, and shouldn’t be taken seriously. After all society is changing, and we’ve got to change with it. Yet, somehow that pesky sign and state statute remain in place. Do they mean anything or not? OK, so you don’t like my speed limit parable, but are there any parallels here?
Having just returned from from Hawaii, and going through a variety of airports, we’ve had the opportunity to be in a number of very diverse crowds of people. There were many different faces and styles of dress. I have the tendency, though I’m sure I’m not alone, to form snap judgments about whether we like a person or not. It is easy to write a person off because of their looks or mannerisms, but this is where we need to be very cautious. There was a man at one of our hotels – about 6ft. 5in., 275 lbs, shaved head, tattoos on every visible part of skin – definitely not the man you want on the wrong side of an altercation. Yet when we saw him later in the day he was romping on the grass with his 2 year old daughter being the perfect dad. As I said, careful with first judgments! Each one we see is one that our God has made in His image, and one for whom Jesus died. All are not going to be good people, but all deserve our respect and kindness until they prove otherwise. All the externals mean very little. It was a good lesson for me, at least.
Good Morning. It is good to be back with you. Though, I can’t say I’m fully back in the grove. The time away was wonderful, restful, and needed. Thank you for your patience, and the good comments I received when we left. Since we were visiting our daughter, who is in that Navy, we were allowed to live in the navy lodge on base. Since this is Memorial Day this give me a bit of a new perspective on celebrating what the services do for us. Nothing can be take away from the honor do to all of our service men and women who have sacrificed life and physical health to maintain our safety and freedom. But I am also aware of the thousands upon thousands of men and women who do routine jobs day in and day out, who are dedicated to their tasks, who are disciplined and obedient to their orders, who remain physically fit, and who can step in on short notice to go wherever they are needed – all for the same purpose of maintaining our safety and freedom. All of these deserve our respect and thanks on this Memorial Day.
Dear Friends of Good Morning,
Thank you for being faithful readers over many years. I am just writing this additional note to let you know that I am taking a little break from writing for a few weeks. Having done this now for more than 15 years, and filed over 3500 messages, I thought a little break wouldn’t hurt. My next Good Morning, the Good Lord willing, will be posted on May 25th. What began years ago just as a greeting for my five children has now, because of the internet, spread to more than 50 countries. I say that, not as some mark of pride, but of God’s grace. The only reason I continue to write is to share God’s truth from Scripture, and pray that His Spirit awakens hearts to a deeper love for our Saviour, and for others.
God’s richest blessings to each of you, until we again share His word together.
Have a very good day in the Lord Jesus.
We have mentioned before about the disconnect sometimes seen between the teachings of Christ and the behavior of Christians. The New Testament letters of John and James highlight this. In the early days of the Church, even before the followers of Jesus were called Christians, they were called people of The Way. That meant they were people who lived, and could be recognized by, a particular way of life because of their love for the risen Lord Jesus. The particular mark of the Church was to be as St. Peter wrote, “all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”(IP. 3:8) James tells us to guard our tongue, and let our faith be shown in works of service to others. We do not do these things to gain points with God, or somehow work for our salvation. We do them because we have a Saviour who washes our feet, and has willingly sacrificed His life in atonement for our sins. “We love because He first loved us.”(I John 4:19) We remind ourselves that we are not just called Christians, but we are people of The Way.
Jesus always does things backwards! He talked to the Pharisees, respected scholars of their day, and called them hypocrites, and empty tombs. He said if your want to be a leader, you need to be the servant of all, to be first you have to be last. He just didn’t get it. He didn’t understand about power and prominence in this world. Or maybe He did. Maybe He really saw how hollow and superficial all the things we hold up as goals to strive for really are. Maybe that is why He spent His time with the tax collectors and sinners. There was no pretense in them. They knew they were weak and needed His help. And they received it. The ones who come to Him empty are sure to be filled with His living water.