Read it! James 1:19-27
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.
Think it through
How could I make a scripture scrapbook for the kids without including the Ten Commandments?
And how could I write a blog post about it without realizing how hard it can be to keep some of them? It’s hard to tell the truth all the time. Not coveting is a challenge. It’s even hard to rest on the Sabbath.
“God gave us these commandments because He loves us, so we may enjoy long life, so it will go well with us. In other words: they’re for your own good.”
God didn’t write these rules capriciously. Ever word in the law is to keep us on the right path and protect us from ourselves. Our pastor (Ken Murphy at cypresschurch.tv) calls this “The Circle of Protection.”
“When we stay inside the boundary of God’s Work, we are protected from guilt, worry, fear, repercussions, anger, and shame. Some people think that God’s laws will restrict them. Wiser people know that God’s laws set us free… free from the negative consequences of bad choices.”
It’s only when we stay within the boundaries of God’s Law that we can really live the sweet life.
Live it like you mean it
Which of God’s rules is the most difficult for you to follow? How can you set yourself up to avoid that temptation? What’s a new goal you could set to keep yourself well within God’s circle of protection?
My sweet five year-old recently said, “I wish candy was healthy food but still tasted as really good.” Me too, buddy. Me, too. I can so easily turn into a total glutton when sweets are involved. I’m engaged in a constant battle for my health, trying to stay within the circle of God’s blessing so I don’t feel badly (both emotionally and physically) tomorrow.
Over Lent, I gave up all sweets in the daytime (before the kids were tucked in at night). The idea was that I wouldn’t turn to food during stressful moments—I would turn to the Lord instead (and still get to have a little chocolate ahhhhhh at the end of my day.)
Who says I should stop now that Lent is over? I don’t have to be as hard core (hello, going to Graeter’s and watching the rest of my family eat ice cream isn’t fun for me or for them!). But I’m going to make “not eating sweets at home before bedtime” a new goal to keep me well within that boundary. Now that’s the true sweet life!
Lift it up
Lord, I want to live within Your boundaries so You can pour abundant blessings on my life. Please give me an extra dose of obedience today, and live so loudly my spirit that I never want to cross those lines. Thank you for being so clear and firm in Your Word so I know how to stay within Your circle of protection. Amen.
Tell Me About It
What new goal are you setting—how are you going to choose to stay within the circle of protection?
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