Talking recently with a friend of mine, I heard that he was upset because he wasn’t able to tithe to his church. I’m not sure if he was worried that God was going to punish him or not but it got me to thinking.
Many of us feel like we need to do something, such as tithing, church attendance, Bible reading, praying, helping the homeless, witnessing, being active in some type activity that makes us feel like we are doing something to earn God’s favor.
Thing is, God loves us just as a parent loves their children. Would a mother or father withhold their love from their son or daughter because they were not doing some particular act to earn that love? Of course not.
Am I saying that we do not have to go to church, we do not have to read our Bible, we do not have to tithe, we do not have to be in some kind of activity helping others……yes, that’s exactly what I am saying.
We cannot do anything to earn God’s love and we cannot do anything to cause God to stop loving us. God is love. We don’t earn His love by doing things or being a part of something. We accept His love through what Jesus did when He died for us. We he arose from the dead He conquered sin, death and the law and restored our fellowship with the Father.
The law was made to show us that we were unable to earn salvation on our own. Just as the Bible tells us that a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives, but when he dies she is loose from that union, so we as humans were bound by the law. The law showed us what we had to do to be perfect and also to prove to us that we were unable to live that way. When Jesus died and rose again, the law, the old testament way, was fulfilled and the new testament way of love and grace began.
We no longer have to live by the law. We now are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and love our neighbor (others) as ourselves. In this you fulfill the law. See Matthew 22:37-40.
Now of course obeying God and following after the way He leads you is important. We are to obey rather than sacrifice. The thing is we obey out of love, we don’t do things to earn our salvation or to keep from God’s punishment. God will watch over us and discipline us when needed just as a parent watches over their child and directs them in the way they should go for their own good and safety. But the parents, and God, do not sit around just waiting on their child to mess up, do something wrong just to punish them and make them pay.
We are now living in the freedom that Christ purchased for us through His death and resurrection. We no longer HAVE to perform and do things. He loves us. He will guide us and lead us in the way He wants us to go. I’m not saying we can be lazy and just sit around waiting on the day we die and go to be with God. Our faith and love for God will produce works but they will be works that God leads us into, and they are done out of love. What we now do is love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and love others as ourselves. Love, God’s love, is the fulfillment of the law.
Do what God leads you to do….out of love not out of duty. Seek His guidance and do not worry about what everyone else is doing. God will work in and through you in His own way and not the same way He works in someone else. God IS love. Live in love and enjoy the freedom we have in Christ.