Set free to live free

   James 1:22-25 says "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do."
   Living under law never sounds like much fun.  We all have a rebellious streak in us that doesn't want restrictions imposed on what we consider to be our freedom.  However, James tells us that God's perfect law gives freedom.   God's law was established not to be a chain that binds but to be a hedge of protection built by a loving God for his people.  That freedom is found when we understand that while we could never fulfill the law, Jesus did.  He, who was without sin, paid the price for our sins and in doing us gifted us with freedom.  We now live under God's grace and as we better understand that grace, we live it in our dealings with others.
   The Pharisees took God's law and multiplied the laws so that the people were under heavy, cumbersome loads, but  Jesus summed up God's law when he said that all the law and prophets hang on these two commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" and "Love your neighbor as yourself."  (Matthew 22:37-40)
   We have been set free, but we aren't living free.  My prayer is that we learn to reflect the love of God to those around us and find the freedom we have in Christ.
In Him,
Pastor Boyd

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