22 Rules

When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited Him to eat with him; so He went in and reclined at the table.  But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.  Luke 11:37-38

Jesus calls us to obey Him, not man made rules. In Jesus time the Pharisees and teachers of the law taught many man made rules.  These rules were like little x’s around the big X of God’s Law.  For example, the Law says to keep the Sabbath day holy by doing no work (Ex. 20:10).  The Pharisees and teachers of the law taught rules like, “Do not light a fire on the Sabbath”.

We do the same today when we make up our own rules.  Our rules may even seem amusing to those around us.  For example, “Do not be one minute late for work,” and its antithesis, “Do not be one minute early for work.”  Another couplet is, “Don’t drive one mile per hour over the speed limit,” and, “Don’t drive one mile per hour under the speed limit.”  Rules such as these constrict our lives.  Sets of rules can also put us in double-binds.  Examples of double-binds are, “Do not lie,” and, “Don’t say anything that could hurt anyone.”  Or the corollary, “Always tell the truth,” and, “How things look is what matters.”

Constricting and double-binding rules can drive us crazy.  Rules also “load people down with burdens they can hardly carry.” (Luke 11:46)  These rules have an appearance of wisdom but lack any power in helping us obey Jesus and live a godly life (Colossians 2:20-23).

We develop rules in reaction to shame.  When we wrongly assume that feelings of shame are about what we have done rather than about what has been done to us, we treat shame as guilt.  In our search for what we have done wrong, we actually find some blame that we can lay on ourselves.  We develop rules to guard us from future wrong-doing to protect us from “guilt”, but these rules actually create more “guilt”.  We feel “guilty” whenever we inevitably break our constricting and double-binding rules.  In actuality, rules trap us and keep us from moving forward in life.  Confession frees us from guilt and can bring light to our self-imposed rules.  Anything that attempts to hold us in bondage is shame or condemnation (Rom. 8:1).  There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

Jesus says to us:  “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Finding rest for my soul,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


21 Obedience

Redeemed by the all-sufficient blood of Jesus!  God has freely given us salvation.  He loves us.  It is not about what we have done.  It’s about Who He is.  We receive this gift by faith.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Mt 28:18-20

Jesus calls us to obey Him.  This seems like a contradiction to the gift of salvation.  Keep in mind, our obedience does not earn our salvation.  Rather, God saves us, transforms us and our hearts want to obey Him.

We cooperate with Him as He transforms us.  We need to open our hearts to His love and His word.  He speaks to us through others and directly to our hearts through His word—He is The Word.

We do not need to impress Him.  In our perfectionism we tend to look for ways to impress others.  God sees the small things we do.  Jesus talked about a cup of cold water being given in His name even being noticed.  As we obey Him, we need to allow ourselves to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Shame says we don’t deserve praise.  Doubt says don’t trust praise.  We need to let go of shame and doubt and allow ourselves to receive God’s praise and approval.

On a personal note, my wife and I are struggling financially.  Please join us in crying out to God for provision and favor.  Thank you!

Seeking to obey,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/