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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why do we make things so hard?

Why do we make things so hard? Especially when it comes to the things of faith. Salvation is simple. You accept a free gift from a loving God who paid a price for your sin that you couldn't pay yourself. You rearrange your life to give Him ownership and leadership. It's done. It's really that easy. Now, the life that follows this decision may be a little harder. But the act is as simple as acknowledgement and obedience.

And obedience is another area where we try to take the simple and make it really difficult. The religious leaders in the Bible took the 10 Commandments and turned them into dozens of books of laws that had to be kept in order to stay in good standing with God.

But Christ summed up the desires God had for us in two simple little sentences. Love God with all your being and love others more than you love yourself. (my translation) Just think how that last little sentence would radically change the world if we practiced it. Road rage would be a think of the past. Contracts would never have to be signed. We'd never here people screaming about their rights or their needs because we'd all be looking out for one another. Marriages would last forever as they were intended to be and no child would ever go uncared for.

Our churches would be radically different. We'd have to have crowd control at the doors because the world would want to come in and be part of the loving. Pastors wouldn't burn out because small groups of people got together and were dragging him down behind his back. No guest would ever feel out of place in a church. And we'd never have to talk about how to carefully use the offerings because the bigger concern would be how to deal with the excess we had in our church's accounts. We'd spend more time praying for each other than talking about each other. And the "law" of God would become almost unnecessary.

Why can't we get this right? What is this selfish nature that says I have to look out for me and mine because no one else will? All it takes is a few people who choose to do the right thing in a world that has seemingly forgotten what the right thing is. The right thing, as Paul put it:

8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. 9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. Romans 13:8-10 NLT

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