November 6 – Seven Rules

rules

For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:19)

Read: Ezekiel 14:12-16:41, Hebrews 7:18-28, Psalm 106:1-12, Proverbs 27:4-6

Relate: As he sat down on his bed before crawling in and killing the light, Ed saw the list on his nightstand. Has it been two weeks? Almost? Did he even one time in the past, what, twelve days do everything on the list? Those rules he set up for himself seemed like such a good idea at the time. Why couldn’t he follow them? A lot of time and effort went into creating those seven rules for a perfect life, but clearly something was wrong with his list. What was missing? Ed scanned down the list.

Rule 1 – Wake up at a reasonable hour. He had planned to this morning but that stinking snooze button… by the time he was rolling out of bed there was less than thirty minutes before he had to be at his desk halfway across town. That meant throw on the first thing he could grab out of his closet and head right out the door. It also meant that Rule 2 – Eat Breakfast and Rule 4 – Give yourself time to commute safely went right out the window. He could have sworn that cop that followed him for a half dozen blocks was going to pull him over for running that stupid stop sign. There was no need for that sign at that intersection anyways.

Ed figured he could have done Rule 3 – Make a to do list each day when he got to work but he was walking through the front door already ten minutes late and he hadn’t even settled into his cubicle when that phone started ringing. From there, it seemed like one thing after another just had to be done and by the time he had a moment to slow down and make that list, the day was already halfway wasted. Perhaps tomorrow. Of course, when he was off to such a hectic start, Rule 5 – Take a deep breath and count to ten before speaking if your are angry or frustrated  never even entered his mind. He really should apologize to Alyse tomorrow. Yes he should have done it today. Right along with calling his sister to confirm that he will be bringing the family to Thanksgiving at her place this year and responding to that one email he had been vacillating on for three days now… all of these not happening meant he had also broken Rule 6 – Don’t leave anything unfinished you don’t have to. At least he was following Rule 7 – Take a moment to reflect at the end of each day. One for seven would make a terrible batting average though. There has got to be something missing. There has got to be another rule he can add to finally find that better life he is missing.

React: For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. There is nothing wrong with Ed’s seven rules for a better life. If he were able to follow them he really would have a better life. If he were able to follow them…

That’s the problem isn’t it? I am constantly making promises to do better. I am constantly coming up with ideas for how I can improve. They never seem to work. They never seem to last. I can’t tell you over the years how many day planners made it through a week or two before sitting on the shelf collecting dust. I can’t tell you how many excellent New Years resolutions almost made it halfway through January. It seems all the rules I make for myself ever really do is show me how short I fall from the ideal. The law makes nothing perfect but grace…

Respond: 

Dear God,
Thank You for Your grace. I am grateful for Your law as well. It is good. I know that the better I follow it the better my life will be. Your law is perfect. But it does not make me perfect. For that I am dependant on Your grace. Your rules are good but Your grace… it is amazing.
Amen

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21 thoughts on “November 6 – Seven Rules

  1. I told my brother that yesterday he has been through hell on earth over the last 2 years ,cancer took his bladder and prostate the the doctor just told him he has a aortic aneurysm. Small the will watch it . We lost out mom the only parent we ever had while he was in the hospital fighting cancer he could not see her.Could not travel . Even is do down in pain all the time.
    I have helped him as much as I can he has to go on disability but they said he has to be off work 5 months. That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of , are you supposed to starve and sit in the dark? But bettween me and my sister and one brother we have his back my husband is a loving giving man . He just said do what you have to do.

    He has never once said a word. I told my brother about the Lord and that doesn’t expect us to be hIm, but he expects us to do our best ever day and try as much as you can it will become easier and if you mess up pray for forgiveness. .

  2. This is a great post! It’s helpful in two ways: One to point out that we are absolutely incapable of meeting even our own standards, much less God’s ; and two, understanding our utter hopelessness, it points us to the One Who is Hope. Thank you!

  3. Yes, loving this post today, thank you.

    The Law, as God gave it, is perfect. But, why do we see it as a list of rules that is impossible to follow? God’s purpose of the Law is to reveal to us our utter inability to fulfill it without His transformation work in our lives. Only after we are reborn, renewed and cleansed of all unrighteousness are we able, through the power of God to live a life pleasing unto Him. It is after we put off the old nature that we can take up God’s. It is after all of this that we can be given the ability to fulfill every bit of the Law.

  4. The law was never meant to make us perfect! It was a set of instructions from a loving, benevolent creator who wished for His people to live a blessed life. If it were meant to perfect, we would not have needed the sacrifice of the Messiah to deliver us from our failures. If we truly wished to be obedient, then we should pattern our lives after His instructions and truly live in them, not by them as if they are some set of rules set forth by a tyrant. Only then can the two most important tenets, on which all of the Torah and the Prophets rest, be accomplished – Love the Creator with all of your mind, heart, and strength & love your neighbor as yourself.

  5. I love this! And Kari Jobe’s song is the icing on the cake! Thankful always for God’s great grace! I wish I could discover more about you… you have no “about” page on your blog. I’m wondering if you are writing from a country where you feel it best to keep your identity hidden… but your picture and title suggest that you are from San Antonio. I’d love to know more about your ministry because yes, it is obvious from your posts that you are in ministry. Anyway, I love your blog and am grateful for the Truth you teach here!

  6. Well said. God’s law is there to guide us, draw us closer to Him- but, I can’t make us perfect. The little prayer at the end was very clever. I might be using it some time soon! 😉

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