Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.
I've been reading Leviticus lately. We talk a lot about "the law" and so I felt it was necessary to understand what some of the laws, regulations, and requirements that the "Israelites and the foreigners living among them" actually were, beyond the top ten list we all heard about as kids.
To be honest, it's a tough read. There are a lot of details and processes to trudge through. Sometimes it's hard to believe that this is the same God that we know today; a God of love and acceptance, a God who meets us right where we are and who cares more about our future than he does our past.
What I realized was that he set the Israelites apart from the rest of the world. They were his chosen people. They had to be different. They had to look different. They had to act different. God held them to a higher standard because they were meant to change the world.
We live in a world that looks similar to the world of the Old Testament. People care more about themselves than they do others and look to be moving further away from God. Church's are closing their doors every Sunday. Sin runs rampant.
But we also live in a much different world than before. Jesus died on the cross, paid the full price for our sins, and rose from the dead so that we could have a personal and direct relationship with our creator.
We no longer have to follow the laws, regulations, and requirements. The rules don't dictate how we act. We dictate how we act.
What we do makes us who we are.
I don't know if the sentence hurts you or helps you, but I know it was hard to write because it means what I've done defines who I am and I know what I've done. Not all of the things I've done are good. Some of them are down right bad. Some of them I don't want to remember. But does it really mean that?
Let's look at that sentence again.
What we do makes us who we are.
That's not a past tense sentence. I didn't say the things you did in the past have to define who you are today. I didn't say that the things you did in the past are bound to be repeated again. I said the things that you do right now, today, and tomorrow are what matter.
Just like God cares more about our future than he does our past, what you do today is more important than what you did yesterday. Every day, we have the opportunity to be better than we were the day before, not because we have to be, but because God gave us the choice and the ability to be. Every day, we have the opportunity to love.
What we do, or rather what we are called to do, is love. At Radius, we've made it our mission to love. When we say we are a people on mission, moving out in ever-widening circles to change our world, we mean we are moving outside the walls of our gathering and into our community to show tangible love to those around us, not because they deserve it, but because it is the right thing to do. We've all done things that make us undeserving of love. We all fall short of perfection (by a long shot), but we all carry in us the ability to give love; good, pure love that lifts people up, helps them out, and invites them in to have a real experience with their creator.