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gift or burden?

170317Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth. There are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree. If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:1-12, NRSV)

Why did God give the people His laws?

As a burden to over come?

Rules to win His love?

Remember that God gave the Laws to the people after He said they were His chosen poeple. The Law is not a way to win God’s favor. It is a guide to help us live as His chosen people.

The Law and the way He guides us is a gift to help us live the life He has prepared for us, not to hold us back or to give us something to overcome.

Live in the life He gave you as freedom not as burden.

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you are

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.”  They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:1-10, NRSV)

Do not be worried if you are rejected by mortals, for you are chosen by God!

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people. You have been set apart.

Not you will be once you get everything worked out and your life together.

You are. God has chosen you as is and claims you as His own.

So don’t think that your status with God will change, He has chosen you and you are His!

Never think less of yourself, because God thinks you are worth dying for!

 

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Rejected?

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? ‘Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.’ But what is the divine reply to him? ‘I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:1-6, NRSV)

We sometimes think and get the picture form the New Testament that God has rejected the Israelites and moved on to the Gentiles…

But Paul clearly tells us here that God is not rejecting His chosen people. You see God made a promise to the Israelites, that is the Old Covenant as we Christians call it. The promise that was made that they would be His people and God would be their God.

And you see in that is grace! Grace has permeated the world from the beginning. There is no way we can do enough to be in the promise, that is grace.

So Israel is still God’s chosen people, and we get to be grafted into the body of Christ through the grace given to us…

So they are not rejected, and you are not rejected either…

 

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