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Permanent Framework of Love

Daily Reading: Galatians 2

Scripture Focus: For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2.19-20)

Devotional Thought: "Jesus paid it all! All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow." Reading today's chapter of Galatians makes me think of that old hymn. There was no law that I could follow, no work that I could do, which would save me from my sin. Only Jesus could do that.

So what of the law? Why do we need it? For a couple reasons...

One, we need it to give us an understanding of what a godly life should look like. Even when we are saved, we do not automatically start living holy. That takes time and growth and discipline. The Bible gives us a goal. And, beyond helping us to live a holy life, the law helps us gauge a person's veracity to the faith. "By their fruits you will know them." If we don't know what the fruits look like, then we won't know if a person is genuinely following Christ. This is very important when it comes to those whose faith we emulate.

But, we also need the law to show us that conformity is impossible. We need the grace of Jesus. Through the law, we die to the hopes of ever being saved by the law. The law brings us in our frustration to Christ and his grace. I love what one author wrote: "In the edifice of the Christian life, the temporary scaffolding of duty should give way to the permanent framework of love" (R. E. Howard).

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your law. Thank you that - as a schoolmaster - the law brings me to you. Help me, however, to build my life and faith not on the law, but on the love of God in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 16 Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers? 17 If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. 18 When I thought, "My foot slips," your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. 19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. 20 Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute? 21 They band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. 22 But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. 23 He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; the LORD our God will wipe them out. (Psalms 94:16-23)

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