Saturday, January 19, 2019

Important Truth for Me to Know & Teach My Grandsons

I grew up in an area of the country where there were churches on almost every corner, the streets were tree-lined and the time seemed - by today's standards - like a much more simple time. 

My family and I went to church every Sunday - as did most of the families I knew. The church I went to was filled with wonderful, kind people, but while the people were wonderful and kind and God's Word was taught, so was the idea where following God was all about keeping the "rules".

This is known as legalism, and the church in which I grew up, and even some I have attended as an adult, taught a form of legalism.  This legalism is not a positive thing as it is often one of the main things which chases away our grown children and grandchildren from following God. It is not what God's Word teaches us and is not how Jesus lived on this Earth. 

Yes, when God's Word tells us a, "do" or "do not", we must do or do not. For example, Jesus told us the two greatest commands were for us to love God with our all and to love others as we love ourselves. Throughout Scripture things such as being selfish, unkind, unfaithful, drunk or abusive are things which God has clearly commanded us to not be or do. Likewise, He calls upon us to be people who are loving, gentle, kind, generous, peaceful and who are quick to forgive.

Following God's, "do's" and "do not's" is not legalism. It is obeying and walking with God and something we do because we love Him. Legalism tends to go beyond what God's Word teaches by adding a list of rules typically made up by people.

So, why am I writing about this today? Because I want to know the difference between following God because I love Him and a list of man-made rules. I want my grandsons to grow up to be people who hold firmly to God's Word, but who are not judgmental people who are burdened or enslaved by the legalism of "added" rules of people - even well-meaning people.

Galatians 5:1 has long been one of my favorite verses - in it Paul says; 
"It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." 
Obeying God's Word brings freedom; trying to follow the rules of people puts upon us a, "yoke of slavery". I want my grandsons to follow God and His Word with joy and freedom, because they love Him; I want them to grow up to know the difference between being enslaved by things God did not tell us to do and how to live as men who love and follow the things God does tell us to do.

So, as we hand down the faith, let us be sure we are being faithful to God's Word - teaching it and only it, so we do not put a "yoke of slavery" upon our grandchildren.

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