Friday, August 23, 2013

The Highest Standard Is Love

It's crazy that we have police and politicians who are responsible for making and enforcing laws but who believe they are above the law. Here in Canada, we just had one of our party leaders admit that he has smoked marijuana after being elected. In Canada it is illegal to smoke marijuana except if you have a doctor's permission due to an illness. The law remains and is enforced for the ordinary citizen but Mr.Trudeau believes he is above this law.

It doesn't matter which law was broken, the fact remains that our politicians are suppose to hold themselves to a higher standard. Even if they disagree with a law, they still have the responsibility to abide by it. This goes for speed limits, paying taxes, or any other law we want to consider. If they disagree with the law then they should work to change it but in the meantime, abide by the law like every other citizen must.

Now why would I bring politics into my blog which is all about all things connected to Jesus Christ? Simple: The same principle is in play for us who belong to the Kingdom of God.

We seem to be a confused people concerning the law and grace. We use grace as an excuse for ignoring the fact that our Father is holy and has called us to his righteousness. Grace simply covers us when we get it wrong but what matters is the attitude of our heart. If we purposely set out to deceive God by doing what is contrary to his righteousness then we are only deceiving ourselves. We don't get to do what we feel is right. In fact. Jesus brought us to the deepest part of the law which is governed by love.

Jesus taught that the law says not to murder but love says do not hate, which is the root of murder. Jesus taught that the law says do not commit adultery but love says do not lust, which is the root of adultery. Jesus moved us from the law, which deals with the surface, to the root of the law which is governed by love.

If you love me, you will do as I command. (John 14:15)

These, the words of Jesus, do not give us the right to sin but instead hold us to a higher standard. Certainly we will fail because our bodies have not yet been redeemed. It is the weakest link. But our flesh should not be dictating to us when we have been empowered by the Spirit. We must command our bodies to obey our spirit which longs for intimacy with God's Spirit. This should be our desire, our longing, our hope so that any thought of disobedience would seem repugnant to us. There must be a desire in us to want to obey Jesus Christ.

I will be personal with you. There have been times when I have allowed fear to knock me off course. In my position it means other people, a lot of people, have been effected by my fear. I have feared my future and my finances. Some would feel that it is only normal because of my situation but it is not normal for me. I am a man of faith. I take God at face value. I trust his promises and to allow fear to manipulate me is to say that I do not trust. This is a sin because faith means to trust. I have learned that I must confess my weakness so Jesus can show his strength through it. I have learned to refuse fear and purposely do exactly what I fear. And every time God has revealed himself in glory.

We cannot hold on to our sins, flaunt them before the world and use the excuse that we aren't perfect, only forgiven. It should be with some shame that we come before God, admitting our failures and allowing him to restore his Spirit in us. We need to desire to obey his will without hesitation. We should take delight in his law, delight in his holiness and delight in his righteousness. We need to press in more every day, getting closer, surrendering more, desiring more. We don't want less righteousness, we want more. We don't want less of Jesus, we want more. We don't want less of the law, we want to go deeper.

Politicians, who are our lawmakers, who refuse to follow the law because they disagree with it, are wrong. Many won't see it that way but it eats away at the foundation of our society and opens the doors to all kinds of abuses and wrongs. It is the reason they are held to a higher standard. But far worse are Christians who refuse to obey the Spirit, allowing disobedience to eat away at their foundation, opening the door to all kinds of abuses and wrongs. They fail to understand that we are held to the highest standard, Jesus Christ and it will have eternal consequences for them and all those they influence.

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