How do you feel about laws? Do you think they should be obeyed to the letter? Are you a person who will not go one mile over the speed limit? Do you stay well within the limits of any laws? Or do you like to color outside the lines from time-to-time (or more often)?
We have a lot of laws across our land. When we count the federal, state, and local laws, we have thousands of them. Many of them are for our good. When we obey them, they can help keep us from harm. Laws can be an aid to an orderly society. They can also be used to oppress.
God gave us laws to obey, too. The purpose of those laws is to keep us from harm and provide an orderly society. However, people often misinterpret those laws or take them to the extreme. The Jewish religious leadership of the Old Testament had done that over the course of hundreds of years. They added guidance, or their own laws, to put hedges around the laws of God. Their intent was good, but their execution was not. For example, the Sabbath was holy, and no one was to work on that day. So, they set a limit of one-hundred paces. Walk one more and it was considered work.
We do this, too, sometimes. Our traditions and reasoning add to the laws of God. We should remember that Jesus said all the law and the prophets were wrapped up in two commands, love god and love neighbor (Matthew 12:30-31). When He tells the people they must exceed the scribes and Pharisees, he is telling them to stop being legalistic and to base all their actions on love. When we consider every act, every behavior, every word we intend beforehand, and determine if they are done or said in love, we are following Jesus’ commands. We no longer need to wonder if we are following the law.
I pray we all know the laws of God. I pray we understand the commands of Jesus. I pray each one of us determine to act, behave, and speak in love toward everyone. Know Gods law. Know Jesus’ commands. Put Jesus’ commands into action. Make the decision to act in love. Be a person who speaks with love.
Matthew 5:20 “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”