“Hosta, Astilbe, and Phlox.” This is the name I gave a picture of three pretty perennials that grew together in one flower bed. The Astilbe was not blooming, but its young green shoots were a welcome surprise between the white and green of the new Hosta leaves and the frilly white flowers of the Creeping Phlox.
As soon as I named the picture, I saw that it sounded like a law firm. “Injured? Call Hosta, Astilbe & Phlox. We will get the justice YOU deserve!” I could imagine the TV commercial in my head.
America is a system of laws. For that matter, our universe is a system of laws!
A gardener knows and respects laws: “You reap what you sow.”
“As a twig is bent, so grows the tree.”
“If you keep making that face at your sister, it will freeze like that.” Okay, that last one is not exactly a law, but don’t tell my grandchildren.
We understand the concept of laws, rules, and consequences. It is therefore puzzling that, when it comes to religion, so many people think all laws are suddenly null and void. Why would a God of order, who put laws of nature into place, suspend his own laws when it comes to the human race? Because we are so lovable and irresistible? I doubt that; I’ve seen the newscast today.
Any of us who even hint that our Father has a few rules are denounced roundly as legalists. We are surely saved by grace, and not by law. But does that make us want to ignore the “law of love,” or to seek to obey it? (James 1:25).
While it is true that the old Law (the Old Testament) has been nailed to the cross so that we are no longer bound by it, we still have a few “house rules” in the family of God. I don’t know about your family, but ours has a few rules that even visitors obey: Don’t feed the dog from the table, fasten your seat belt, etc.
Jesus repeated the two most basic commands of the law, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 NASB). He explained that this was the foundation of the Law (the Old Testament). It is also the foundation of the Christian era, the New Covenant. If we truly follow these two commands, everything else should fall into place.
Loving God with all of our hearts is not simply a warm feeling or lip service. If we truly love God, we will seek out the way he wants us to live and to worship him.
The gooey televangelists on late-night shows may profess love for God, but do they worship him as he commands? Are the debt-ridden crystal palaces from which they smilingly preach condoned by God? Or are they a monument to man’s disregard that God has a Book that gives instructions?
“They were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11 NASB).
Growing up in an Atheist home, I remember thinking that if there was a God, he would surely have given us a User’s Manual. I don’t mean to judge others, but I do question everything.
When I am laid to rest, and Hosta, Astilbe & Phlox cover my grave, I want to be covered by the grace of God. If respecting his law will make that happen, count me a client.