This devotional was originally published on October 25, 2016.
I have a tendency to act as a sort of hall monitor for grace too freely lived in. What I mean by that is I have a sort of list in my head/heart that gauges if someone is taking for granted the grace that was freely given to them through Jesus Christ. For instance, if someone is doing something that I would feel convicted by doing, they must be sinning, disobeying the Spirit. One problem with this mindset is that I become overly concerned about religion, but not necessarily about relationship.
I have approached people’s sins and tried to be their conviction myself, instead of pointing them towards Jesus. I forget that I am only looking more and more like Jesus as time passes because he is revealing himself to me; he is giving me strength in my convictions. I wrongfully try to make people obey the Christian life instead of directing them back to the life-giver himself. I end up acting like a Pharisee, in that I communicate more of what I am against rather than what I am for. This allows for no rest, either for me, the accuser, or for the accused.
The Sabbath was a gift from God to man. When we do nothing, it reminds us that God does everything. He is sanctifying us. And this is truly what I am for. I want everyone to know this freedom, this rest that only Jesus offers:
One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
— Mark 2:23-28 (emphasis added)
There are reasons to be concerned when people are living in sin, whether they’re believers or not. But I’m talking about what it does to my heart, and where my focus needs to be. Jesus is lord, even of the Sabbath. I need to be concerned with people finding rest from their sin through Jesus, instead of with them conforming to a set of rules.
Can I get an amen?