Devotional for August 5, 2020

Greetings in Christ,

  If Jesus entered in our presence in this present time, would we recognize Him as Jesus standing before us?  Would we accept His words of truth if He was speaking to us about God the Father, or would we give Jesus a hard time just as the Jewish leaders and Pharisees did in their time? 

  There are two key factors which may help us recognize Jesus.  Are we living according to the law or by faith? 

  Living by the law can give us the information we need.  It can give us a life of rules and regulations.  It can be a form of ritual becoming a daily routine.  It gives a boundary for daily living of right and wrong.  We follow this rule, or we make amends for breaking this rule.  Soon the semantics take over and the rituals become a burden.  The law soon enslaves the person to its rules and regulations.   The person is always trying to do the right thing, but never getting to the point the right thing brings peace to the heart.  

  The enslavement brings with it the blindness to the truth.   Everything has to be systematic in its approach or it does not fit the idea of being under the law.  Ideas form to what is right and wrong and pretty soon the truth is forgotten and it even begins to be a faint memory.  The enslavement of the law brings with the dulling effect of the senses which can be alerted to the truth.  The law leaves no room for thinking outside of the box whereas living by faith is just the opposite.

  Living by faith gives us more than information to live by it opens the heart and mind to other possibilities to exist beyond the written information.  Living by faith does not bind to a routine or a rule for this or that.  It still has a right and wrong, but it is not determined by boundaries.  Faith does not bring a burden it lifts the burden.  Faith does not enslave, but rather frees the slave to be son or daughter of God the Father. 

  Faith enlightens the heart and mind and brings truth to the fore front.  It heightens the senses to be alert for the truth, and allows thinking outside of the box.  Faith allows a more fulfilling approach to living with God the Father.

  Paul writing to the Galatians tells them they need to live by faith, “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.  Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

  The Jewish leader and Pharisees were under the law, bound by the law, and blinded by the law.  They could not accept Jesus because they could not live by faith, just they could not accept Jesus as the Son of God when He stood before them.  “The Pharisees therefore said to Him, You are bearing witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.  Jesus answered and said to them, Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true; for I know where I came from, and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from, or where I am going.”  They could not think outside of the box, so they could not accept Jesus–it did not fit the laws and rituals.

  Living by the law puts us into shackles and binds us.  Living by faith frees us and gives us the truth to live by. 

  If Jesus stood before you, would you recognize Him?

  “He has made His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.”  Psalms 111:4

  “From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised.”  Psalms 113:3

  “Praise the Lord!  For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant and praise is becoming.”  Psalms 147:1

  Lord help us to live by faith so we can be free in You, to live close to You, and to know You more each day.  Amen


  Mark Johnson

  Psalm 111,113,147; Galatians 3:23-4:7; John 8:12-20

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