Can there be anything more hysterical than this? Here we sit, beautiful late-spring morning, perfect temperature, sunny skies. By the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered, one would think that Olympic competitions are being held here, but they would be sorely mistaken. We are gathered here to watch preschool kiddos play a game of soccer…and I use the term game very lightly. While parents, grandparents, and coaches shout directions and encouragement, 22 four-year-old athletes-in-training run amok in humorous disarray, resembling crazed mall shoppers on Black Friday. As much as I attempt to be supportive of my young granddaughter, all I can do is shake my head and giggle; this is funnier that the Saturday morning cartoons that I enjoyed as a kid! But one aspect has my applause and deep respect, those patient coaches, who tirelessly attempt to explain the rules to their small charges.
Rules are essential. Imagine a soccer game, a football competition, or a baseball game without rules, boundaries, time clocks, referees, penalties, or fouls; probably not much fun to watch. Neither is the Christian life without the parameters set within the Word of God. But wait, “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” right, a freedom to live apart from the heavy constraints of do’s and don’ts? But with that liberty we have in Christ comes great responsibility, for although Christ frees us from sin, He does not free us to sin.
So, what are the rules on this field of Christian life? The Pharisees, in a vain attempt to trap Jesus with His own words, send “one of them, which was a lawyer” to question the Savior. “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” How do we play this game of life; what are the rules? Our Savior’s answer is precise and brilliant: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Paul would later add “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
The summary of the rules is love, love of God, love of our neighbor. As we strive to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and as our hearts and minds are then transformed by His indwelling Spirit, we can begin to love others as ourselves. The rules of the game are simple to state but take a lifetime to master. May I learn to love Him more, and allow that love to flow from me.
Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Lord, increase my capacity for love, my love for You as my Creator and Lord, and my love for those around me. May they witness Your love through me.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2820-6513c2e62c01c' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2820&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2820-6513c2e62c01c' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2820-6513c2e62c01c' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>