Any preacher braving the narrow ridge this week between the law on one hand and grace on the other may want to rethink their route. Few will navigate it without falling into anti-Jewish habits or even supersessionist ideologies. Nowhere is the journey more perilous than when traveling with Paul.
Mothering One, we are still learning and growing. Teach us to respect and honor our neighbors so we may not puff ourselves up by shaming those who are different. Amen.
This week we continue to explore the importance of Christian morality. We do not earn God’s grace by our actions; rather, our obedience is a response to God’s grace. In Deuteronomy, we read that the choice of life will bring prosperity and is the proper response from a heart of gratitude. The psalmist echoes this sentiment, for blessed are those who follow the Lord not just with words but also with actions. The Corinthians have not understood this, so they continue to act like those in the world around them, living by the flesh instead of by the Spirit. Jesus pushes us even further. God sees not only what we do on the outside but who we are on the inside. A true life of obedience begins on the inside and flows outward.
Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20. When have you experienced the choice God sets before us of life or death, prosperity or adversity, blessings or curses? How have you discerned how to obey God?
Read Psalm 119:1-8. How does following God’s commandments bring you joy?
Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-9. What affiliations of yours or of people you know could you insert in place of “Paul” or “Apollos” in the scripture?
Read Matthew 5:21-37. When have you experienced legalistic interpretations of scripture? How do you get to the heart of scripture?
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