I’ve been reading a lot about legalism lately, about how so many people today think Christianity is about following the rules and doing good things. I strongly believe we’ve missed the point.
Here’s the scoop… you can read the Old Testament, read the laws. But Jesus came to replace the way humans treated religion with love. The greatest commandment that triumphs all the others? Love. Why have we focused so much on every other little rule in the Bible except that one?
There’s a story in the Bible of Hosea. A good man called to marry a prostitute who would run and run from him. God does this to show Israel and us that we are so sinful, dirty, and deserve death. Yet no matter how many times we “prostitute” ourselves to the idols in our lives, God is going to take us back in his great love.
Let’s check out Hosea.
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly towards her…When that day comes,” says the Lord, “you will call me husband instead of master.” (2:14, 16)
What? Husband….We will be God’s lover…not his servant? I have gotten this wrong so many times… I want to EARN God’s affections. I want to fancy myself up, paint the perfect picture of a perfect Christian girl and call it good. But I needed to realize my need for God, and that his Love is enough. His love is everything. He IS love. He wants to be in an intimate relationship with me…one so close that I can’t live without him. Where I need him and find comfort and strength in him. Where we sit and be still together, where we adventure and travel the world together. Like a husband. A perfect, never failing, husband. Instead I have tried to earn his favor and work and work and serve and serve. But I still didn’t feel good enough for him.
So that’s it. It’s over. The fight was fought, God chooses us all. And we get to respond. We can chase and chase and chase other things to try and find love, but in the end, the answer is Him.
We deserve hell but the Lord gives compassion and unfailing love. Love is the only law of Jesus, and his love, God will teach righteousness and how to live according to Him. He will guide us and out of His Love, will come service and good works. But not out of OUR strength and goodness, out of HIS. In the end, God’s love wins.