What? No Rules?

The law of liberty (James 2:12) can be the toughest law under which to live. Most of us feel far more comfortable with a list of rules we can check off and judge ourselves and others by.

The Pharisees did, and if we're honest, we all have a little Pharisee in us--even the self-proclaimed Tolerance gurus. Ever have one judge you for judging them? 
It's not difficult for the man in jail to keep the speed limits. And he can feel quite virtuous for not committing robbery while behind bars. But the law of liberty opens the prison doors and says, "Your standing with God is not based on your record. You can't impress Him nor will He disown you. He has set you free to live for His pleasure alone. In seeking it with all you've got, you will find your own."
But we like bars. We like rules. They work as gauges by which we can judge our own standing and decide that we are either better or worse than someone else. Prison bars separate us and force an outward compliance that doesn't have to go heart-deep.
Jesus came to bulldoze those prison bars and said, in effect, "If your obedience isn't heart-deep, I don't want it."
And that message is too difficult for many. They turn away from freedom to embrace man-made religion with plenty of rules to keep them feeling safe. Some even try to rewrite the law of liberty and interject some of their own rules, just as the Pharisees did. "We need a list. Surely there's a list! Let's create one.
The thought of self-sacrifice simply for the joy of pleasing the Lord is too foreign a concept. The idea of limiting their own freedom when they don't have to doesn't make sense. They need external motivation and fear is a good motivator. It was that attitude that so grieved the heart of our Lord. It still grieves Him.

The law of liberty threatens no bars, but holds us with cords of love so strong only a Pharisee would try to break out.

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