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Friday, March 27, 2015

Our Greatest Hope


God gives the power to make wealth (Deut. 8), and the perilous ability to lose it.

In order for God-given standards of morality and ethics to become a reality in our civil and economic systems, there must be a real love for the Divine Person who gave us those standards in the first place. Legislators cannot produce the kind of deep-seated shift that is necessary to put our civil and economic house in order. We cannot fix our fundamental problems by passing laws. Laws don't change hearts.

This does not mean we should not enact good laws and change bad ones. We must. But something more fundamental is necessary. At the core, it isn't about doing the right thing. It's about loving the right Person. Because when we love the right Person, we'll do the right thing.

The desire to embrace God's ways does not come naturally to the human heart. It comes from a supernatural work of God's grace in our lives. This work of God takes place through an essential relationship with the One who made us, like the vine and a branch sharing the same sap. Without this essential connection, Christianity can easily turn into dead religion.

Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind...and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets."

If we truly love the Lord, we will love the things He loves. If we love Christ, we will keep His commandments because we want to. If we truly love people, we will gladly behave rightly toward them because we want to, not because the law compels us.

Where does this "want to" come from?  It comes from God Himself, who "works in us both to will and to do" His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). He is our greatest hope.



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