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Monday, December 17, 2012

Rules or Love?

By Johnny Hester
     Long ago I grew tired of the wrangling: "Is the Bible a 'book of rules' or a 'love letter'?" The very posing of the question itself reflects an obvious need for greater spiritual maturity. Think about it ...
     The small child may, at times, see his parents primarily as dictators - whose sole funtion in life, it seems, is to issure restrictions and rules by which he must abide. "Rules! Is that all they thinlk about?" However, when the child matures, he begins to see that these rules were clear evidence of his parent's love. The rules were not issued to benefit the parents, but to protect, guide and bless the child.
     So it is with our Father in heaven. Rules? Yes, God gives us rules by which He expects us to abide. His revelation to man, the bible, should be seen as loving instruction which will ultimately lead us to Him. He loves us and wants us to live with Him eternally in heaven.
      Carefully examine the words of Jesus: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has not one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:12-13). Just imagine the phenomenal change and the amazing blessings which would result from our living one another in the same way Jesus loves us. He was willing to die on a Roman cross for our salvation. There is no greater love than that which would compel one to "lay down [his] life for his friends!" To love one another in just this way, said Jesus, "is My commandment." It is a rule issued in love to foster love among us.
     Let us endeavor to grow in our love for the Lord. This, will, in turn, enable us to love one another as He loves us.

- Johnny Hester preaches for the Shady Acres Church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO.  He may be contacted through the church's website at http://www.shadyacreschurch.com


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