What rules do you have to obey? Family rules? School rules? Sports rules?
Sometimes rules are necessary aren’t they? Life would be pretty chaotic without rules wouldn’t it? Imagine trying to play a baseball game without rules. Or imagine if there were no traffic rules as people drove around your town.
In the Old Testament, God gave his people the Israelites a long list of rules called the Law. The Law included the Ten Commandments. Can you name any of the Ten Commandments? Like “Honor your ___.”
But laws, even God’s perfect Law, can never make us better. The Law can only show us how bad we are. How? First because all of us disobey the Law of God. We all fail. We all fail to love, and be kind, and worship God alone. And second, because even when we do obey the Law of God we then feel like we’re better than other people who aren’t as well behaved as we are. Have you ever felt that way? Like you’re better than others? That’s called pride.
Listen to how the Apostle Paul describes his relationship with God’s Law now that he is a Christian:
Galatians 2:19. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.
Paul calls himself “dead to the law.” That means that he knows that he could never keep all of God’s Law, and that he could never get to heaven by being good enough. No one can. No one can keep God’s Law. We can’t even keep our parent’s rules, or our teacher’s rules, or the rules of baseball without failing.
But that’s OK. Because God has made a way for us to be out from under the Law and instead we can be “alive to God.” How? Through Jesus. Jesus kept the Law for us. And Jesus makes us alive to God so that we obey him simply because we love him, not because we are afraid of being punished or afraid of failing. And that’s a way better way to live isn’t it?
Because of Jesus we are dead to the law and alive to God.
With Jesus we can obey God because we love him from the heart.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Make a list of some of the rules (laws) in your house. Talk to your kids about the importance of rules, but also help them to understand that rules can’t make us better people – only God’s love can.
Show them this picture and talk about how rules like “No Ball Playing” just make us want to break those rules. Why? Because we have sin inside of us.
Thank you for keeping God’s law for me. Help me to obey you simply because I love you.
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