Saturday, May 7, 2011

Touching Base! Part 124


(This article can also we found on our website
at under the tab called "Blog")

This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.


Earlier this week, I was driving south on Perth Road in Inverary (north of Kingston) and found myself doing 80 km per hour in a 60 km per hour zone. I was late for a meeting at Coffeeco (near Bethel) and was coming from my mentor’s house outside Westport.

You guessed it… I meet an OPP officer driving towards me in his cruiser. And he saw me coming. The officer immediately turns his car around, and thinking that I have been caught, I immediately pull over, hoping that my quick act of repentance will spare me a ticket. The OPP officer actually drove past me and continued heading south on the road in front of me.

We have all been there, 80 in a 60, blowing through stop signs or even jaywalking (yes jaywalking is illegal in Kingston, go figure). As the OPP passed me, I had this thought: this is an illustration of Christ’s work on the cross and the law! If I look at the good and perfect Law and turn to Jesus and say I blew it, and I am sorry, he will forgive us. Because I deserved a $100-plus ticket this week, but I also deserve death.

Yep, that’s right, death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Now this Touching Base is not my personal confession letter, but those who know me best know full well that I sin, and sometimes I really blow it.

How do I know when I have really blown it? I can feel it in my gut, and my conscience, given to me by the Holy Spirit, tells me. Worse yet, if I don’t repent and turn to God, I will later find in Scripture that I have blown it more than I realized.
This begs the question - what is more important, doing 60 in a 60, or staying at peace with God? Same thing? It depends on our focus. The Judaizers in Galatia were focused on the “60 in the 60”, not on following Jesus.

Scot McKnight, in One.Life (p.47) states, “There is a difference between focusing on what is right and focusing on being a follower of Christ”.

Focusing on what is “right” will only cause:
  • legalism
  • self-righteousness
  • exhaustion
If you want to read about what Jesus thought of focusing on what is right, or the Law, see Matthew 23.

Focusing on your relationship with Christ will cause:
  • life, and life to the fullest (John 10:10)
  • freedom from the prison of sin (Galatians 3:23)
  • Christ’s Spirit will live inside you (Galatians 2:20)
Which would you rather do? Now, I’m not suggesting we all do 80 in a 60 this week. My challenge to myself and to you, the reader, is to stop and think this week when you catch yourself disobeying God’s laws.

Ask yourself, do I want to change my ways because I love Jesus, or because I want to be right with the law? When is the last time a police officer stopped you on the sidewalk and said “I just noticed that you walked through that intersection when you had the walk sign and you did so safely, and I just wanted to thank you for obeying the law!”

Living for the law is a thankless job. But when we take the law, God’s law, and the law that our governments have put in place, and want to do what is right out of love for Christ and our neighbour, it changes everything, and the rewards are present and eternal.

Enjoy your week, and walk (and drive) in the love of Christ our Lord!

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