God believes that we are fully represented in Christ which takes circumcision or any contribution of the flesh out of the equation. Love sets faith in motion. (Mirror Bible)
Are you legalistic or spiritual?
What happens when the flesh in included in the business of the Lord? Legalism runs amuck. Christianity is not a fraternity, lodge or secret society. Rules and regulations cannot take precedence over the gospel by establishing requirements for acceptance beyond repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Do not change “whosoever will” into “whosoever meets these narrow and rigid moral codes”.
Galatians 2:15-16 We Jews know that we have no advantage of birth over “non-Jewish sinners.” We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it—and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good. (The Message MSG)
The flesh is in control when you spend more time evaluating and dictating conduct (i.e., who is doing what, when, where, and how) than you spend showing love. What happens when you find misguided strictness, pride, shallowness, the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God? You will also find an emphasis on the letter of the law at the expense of the spirit.
James 4:11-12 Believers, do not speak against or slander one another. He who speaks [self-righteously] against a brother or judges his brother [hypocritically], speaks against the Law and judges the Law. If you judge the Law, you are not a doer of the Law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy [the one God who has the absolute power of life and death]; but who are you to [hypocritically or self-righteously] pass judgment on your neighbor? (Amplified Bible AMP)
God sacrificed because of His love. You should govern the life you live from the same source. If the law worked, Jesus would not have had to die. Obedience is not obedience, if it is forced. Love is not love, if it is mandated. The traditional bondages required by men have no value to God. Jesus delivered you from the rigid law and saved you by grace. Your faith, shown by demonstrating love for others, is what is important.
2 Corinthians 3:6 [It is He] Who has qualified us [making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient] as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not [ministers] of the letter (a legally written code) but of the Spirit; for the code kills, but the [Holy] Spirit makes alive. (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition AMPC, edited)
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father, I thank You for Your grace. I repent for trying to comply with man-made, rigid rules and regulations. I repent for doing the same thing to other believers. I don’t have to feel like a failure because of someone else’s judgment(s) of my behavior. I can honestly say it hurt especially badly when those judgements were given by people who didn’t show Your love in their communication. I can remember feeling almost unbearably broken. I repent for anyone I caused to feel the same. I thank You for the freedom to stumble. I thank You for allowing me to repent. I especially thank You for forgiving me. You look into my heart and see my need. I thank You for the mercy available to me as I run after You. Thank You for moving the hoops people have placed for me to jump through and eliminating all their standards. I want to do what You require. You love me for who I am. You gently and lovingly bring me to the place You ordained and designed for me to be. I never feel rejected and punished for my flaws. I am grateful to You…
Ask the Lord what He wants to say to you about today’s devotional and journal His response as described here.