Sunday, June 23, 2019

Rule Breakers

Daily Gratitude Year 7-Day 173: Today, I am grateful for rule breakers. 

I am a rule follower in most things. I am a first born child and female. Those two traits alone place the weight of keeping the universe in its proper place on my shoulders. Right? 

I hope you are laughing... especially if you are a first born, rule follower, too. 

"Some of my favorite memories have been made when I wandered off the path I was set on and broke my own rules. The really juicy stuff seems to happen when I stop trying to control everything and leave room for the "all of a sudden" moments in my story." -Brooke Hampton 

The "all of a sudden" moments in our stories are quite often the ones that matter most. I am guilty of overscheduling and overplanning. Opening up the margins in our lives is where we learn to live more fully in His grace as we make time for the God appointments. There are unscheduled, incidental opportunities to be present and engaged in our own lives and the lives of those around us that are missed in minute... usually as we glance at our watches or phones. 

Jesus was the epitome of making margins for the God appointments. The woman at the well ...with her multiple husbands and current live-in situation... never dreamed Jesus would speak to her, yet their conversation is the longest recorded conversation between Jesus and any one person in the gospels. Her past didn't matter to Him. It was her present and her future he longed to change. 

The lepers and the blind desperately needed his touch. He paused to give them their miracle. The desperate, bleeding woman whose faith caused Jesus's healing power to flow into her was not a  "nobody" in his eyes. She had worth in his eyes.

The temple, where the scriptures were discussed and questions asked about God, should have been a sanctuary place for Jesus. It wasn't. The pharisees and sadducees were too jealous to enjoy what Jesus brought to the temple. He could teach like no other before and like no one since. He was a one of a kind. His knowledge of the scriptures and our Heavenly Father awed and terrified them at the same time. 

Jesus was clear that he didn't come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. He came to be with us so that God might truly understand our human condition, our strengths and our weaknesses. Before he would judge us, he became one of us. 

“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose." -Matthew 5:17

Jesus didn't come to do away with the law... but to fulfill the promises and the prophecies of the Old Testament. In the process, he had to make choices. Loving people trumped all!  When the choice came to rule following or loving people... the choice was instant. The critics revelled in his disregard for the law, hoping to call him out. They were looking to convict him before evaluating his heart. 

One of my favorite recorded incidents was over the woman caught in adultery. What did Jesus say after he wrote something in the sand that was unrecorded? 

Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”” -John 8:7-11

The "Go and sin no more." is a reminder that real belief leads to a change in priorities and a change in how we live. Instead of chasing earthly treasures and success... we chase the heart of Jesus with a burning passion.

Today, I am grateful for rule breakers. 

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