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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Live the New

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
—Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)

When asked by the Scribes what the greatest commandment was, Jesus quoted from the Mosaic Law. “The most important commandment is this,” he replied. “’Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength’” (Mark 12:30, NLT). If we love the Lord with all our heart, our soul, and our strength, we not only live obediently holding fast to His truth. We also want more than anything for what He has wrought in our lives to be experienced by others.

When we have truly experienced the grace of Jesus Christ, His Truth changes us. It becomes who we are. We don’t stay silent about what changes our lives. Just as Moses told the Israelites that they are to teach His decrees diligently to their children, we teach, live, and share His Word. Just as Moses told the Israelites that the law should be written on their doorframes and gates, so Jesus’s love should be written on our hearts.

Jesus has fulfilled the law, and by His sacrifice He has cancelled the performance-based rigors of the old covenant. He has opened access to the mercy seat that waits for our surrender and obedience to His love. We no longer surrender because it is required. We surrender because once and for all He has become the perfect sacrifice for our sin. Grace joyfully awaits a repentant heart. And our surrender is the gift we give to Him. Full of His mercy and grace, we joyfully and obediently share what He has wrought in us. “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant,” Paul wrote, “not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6, NIV).

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time," says the Lord. "I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10: 16-17, NIV). Because of Jesus, instead of being written upon the “doorframes” of our outer performance, His law is now written upon the tender flesh of our hearts. The “outer” doorframes of the law have surrendered to the inner heart of His perfect sacrifice.

Obedience flows from our love for Him—from the grace which has made us new. If we follow Him with joy, we shall receive the grace of His total supply. We shall discover His joy in giving ourselves away—the joy of giving as He gave His life for us. And that is His real promise—to be one with the Savior who fulfilled the old covenant so we might live the new.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher

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