When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard these stories, they knew that Jesus was talking about them.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Matthew 21:45 (CEV)
Lectionery Texts: Exodus 20:1-20, Psalm 19, Philippians, 3:1-14, Matthew 21:33-44
This weekend was beautiful here along the Gulf Coast. The sun was bright in a blue sky that had puffy white clouds. The temperatures were cool enough to open up the windows and sleep under a quilt. My husband and I sat out on our porch as we read and studied these passages together. We had a rough week so this was a wonderful, refreshing time. The Scripture spoke well in this setting.
Our LORD gave us Ten Commandments. Did God do that to show me who rules? Yes. Does that make me bristle with rebellion? It should make me rest in the knowledge that I don’t have to figure out life for myself and have every answer right. God gave me commandments because He knew they were right. If He was unsure, He would have called them â€œsuggestionsâ€.
Forgive my hidden faults. God’s grace began in the Old Testament as He gave a sacrifice for any sins you forgot! (Leviticus 5:17-19) There have been times when I felt a â€œdistanceâ€ from God and I wasn’t sure why. I wanted to be closer but it’s like I had a rope around my waist holding me back. Well, God knew the problem and so I just said, â€œLORD, I am sorry for whatever is holding me back. I don’t want it. I release any hold that I have and ask you to set me free!â€ And He did.
So I move on. There was a season in my life when, in my job, I met many who had recently been released from jail. The first 12 months after someone is released are difficult. Most job applications ask you if you have been incarcerated in the past 12 months. A â€œyesâ€ will almost guarantee you a spot on the â€œrejectâ€ pile of applications. It makes for a reasonable excuse to return to crime if you are trying to provide for your family.
God’s forgiveness has no â€œparoleâ€ or â€œprobationâ€ period. God’s forgiveness moves my sin to the â€œnever happenedâ€ place in His Kingdom. Repentance means the chains fall off and I can run on in the race I have been given with unhampered steps. I can even reach out a hand to bring others along.
Jesus came to bring us along. He showed us how to be free from the chains of sin and tell others about His freedom. The church leaders rejected Him for that. But they couldn’t defeat my Mighty LORD.