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Daily Inspiration - January 19: Love & Grace

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:19-25

Paul lifts up the struggle that we face with the Law. For through the Law we cannot be saved. Only by God’s grace are we saved. Paul points out that the Law shows us that we cannot live without sin. Knowing that, we are in need of God’s grace in our lives. That is why Jesus came; to free us from sin and to free us from death that hounds us throughout our life. The Law is not a tool for us to use to exclude others from God. When we do this we, are committing the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden. We are trying to be God.

Instead, we are called to be grace-proclaimers; not law-givers. Being grace-proclaimers, we show God’s love to those burdened by the weight of the yoke of the law-givers. Jesus always welcomed the sinner and confronted the powerful. In this we are called to point out the sin of the powers of this world that try to exclude others from hearing God’s grace and living under God’s love.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus welcomed the sinners and confronted the powerful: the political and religious law-givers; those who saw themselves above the other. Jesus tried to show them that they, also, are in need of God’s grace. But, trust in their own power often kept them from seeing the love of God’s grace. I believe the same self-righteous blinders infect the church today, in which some try to impede the proclamation of the Gospel to those who they want to exclude.

That is why we are called to be grace and love proclaimers and not law-givers. We live in brokenness. The Law shows us that. We need to discard our blinders to see the love and grace of God. Then, through the Holy Spirit, we can live and proclaim this love and grace so others may come and see the God who is Love.

Pastor Tim

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