Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Faith Working Through Love

By Melanie Rigney

You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be justified by law; you
have fallen from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.  
(Galatians 5:4-6)

And I will walk at liberty, because I seek your precepts. (Psalm 119:45)

“Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.” (Luke 11:39-41)

Jesus, cleanse my soul, my heart, and my head. Help me to find true liberation in obedience to the Father.

Checklists are wonderful, aren’t they, when they’re manageable? Get 10,000 steps in each day. Get the oil changed in the vehicle every X number of miles. Replace the furnace filter every X number of months. Keep up with your lists, and you reduce the likelihood of a heart attack, a malfunctioning vehicle, or a high energy bill. We like predictability.

On the surface, organized religion has a lot of checklists too: go to church once a week. Tithe. Pray at least X times per day. Keep up with your lists, and it’s smooth sailing to heaven, right?

Except that we’re told today it’s just not that simple. Paul tells the Galatians that a follower of Christ isn’t about whether a man’s been circumcised; it’s about “faith working through love.” Jesus tells the Pharisees it’s not about following the rules about pre-meal washing; it’s about helping our brothers and sisters and the inside of our souls.

There’s nothing wrong with checklists if we keep them in the right place—and are willing to put them aside as the Lord asks. Opportunities to show love and obedience trump the checklist every time.


Do a random act of love and obedience that isn’t on today’s list. Talk with the Lord tonight about how the opportunity was presented to you… and thank Him for the grace to say yes.

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