Monday, July 17, 2017

The Law and Grace

UV 2721/10000 The Law and Grace
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success
Joshua 1 v 8
The Bible is the book that has influenced most of the laws of the contemporary world in terms of the normative values underpinning laws. But it is also the law that defines and leads us to success and prosperity. The Bible distinguishes it as “good success” and wholesome prosperity epitomised in the Hebrew word “Shalom.” Good success is not mere financial or material success or prosperity but it is wholesome or holistic. The Bible states that the presence of the Lord with us distinguishes us from the rest of mankind. In other words, the success and prosperity or otherwise of our lives is determined by our relationship with the Lord.
There is a two way traffic of communication between our mouths and our hearts, from the mouth to the heart and from the heart to the mouth. This uni-verse states that we should always have the word on the tip of our tongues, always ready to give an answer based on the word. If the tongue is the rudder of our lives as stated by St James, the word is the rudder of the tongue. We find equilibrium or perfect balance in our speech by following the guidelines and precepts of the Word. Apt and effective communication is the hallmark of the successful. The word is our constant reference point in all our communications with ourselves primarily and also, with others. We need to be asking ourselves, “ Is what I am saying in accordance with the truth and spirit of the word of the Lord?” John used the metaphor of the word to refer to Jesus, “ In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus during His earthly sojourn was perfect in His communications with self, others and God, the Father. Hence, God prospered Him in His mission to be the Saviour of all mankind. His word gave wisdom, light, love and hope of eternal life to the listener.
Our communication should be based on meditation on the Word. We should be thinking all the time 24x7 about the truths revealed to us this far from the Word. When we prove ourselves diligent in this, the Holy Spirit will reveal even deeper truths that impact our lives. The enemy of our souls will not find a gap in our fencing to enter our thoughts and divert or trap us. We should then make it a point to do all that is written in the Word. Doing is obedience and obedience is love of the Lord. These things, then make us successful and prosperous: communication on the basis of the word, communication of the Word, meditation on the Word, mingling our thoughts with the Word and the Word with our thoughts all the time, acting on the basis of the Word or obeying it wholeheartedly. But the rider in the uni-verse “to do all that is written..” is the catch, the challenge. All of us may not be able to do all that is written but unlike the time Joshua first wrote these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we are now living in a period of grace. Jesus, the Word will fill the gaps in our speech, thinking and actions with His sufficient and abundant grace. We can have “hyperbole” or exceeding success and prosperity despite “hamartia” or shortcomings.

Prateep V Philip

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