April 20, 2016
“You have heard that it was said to the people in the old days, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her—in his heart.” Matt. 5:27-28 Phillips
It is impossible to live the christian life without Christ in your life. His words become a hammer and cut like a knife without His life .. His Spirit .. and His grace to make them alive in you. You are reduced to trying .. reducing .. settling .. and finally resigning that such a life is too demanding .. it can’t be done. Why? Because you can’t keep your eyes from seeing .. your mind from wandering .. and your heart from desiring what God created without it becoming guilt-ridden and shame-driven. Jesus wasn’t blaming anyone. He spoke truthfully about what happens when we reduce a “faith-life” into a “fact-checking life”. You can’t manage faith by keeping numbers. You can’t give yourself permission by shading truth. You can’t change the rules with good intentions. Jesus is describing kingdom life. Even your thoughts carry weight in His kingdom .. not just your actions. What happens when you start making allowances and rewriting God’s truth with today’s words? You get what you see around your life today. You can’t blame anyone else. It’s not someone else’s fault. Traditions become traps when His Spirit is marginalized. Words become laws that enslave .. engulf .. and leave you empty for more. Does Jesus really mean it? What He says about sex? He knows how wide is the breach between delight and destruction. And rather than create another tradition .. another law .. He offered Himself for your addicting patterns .. sight-seeing secrets .. and darkest longings. It was the only way to break the chain of word-laws into an offer of faith in His name .. by His blood .. and through His indwelling life. He knows what you look at .. long for .. and lean towards. Jesus is the greatest lover who ever lived and is alive today. And He longs for His love to fill your life. And He knows exactly where .. it only takes a moment.
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matt. 5:48 Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent followers of Jesus. (firstname.lastname@example.org)