And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10: 10

 

God’s will is not something to be trifled with. We may attempt to ignore it for a time, but the Lord will always prevail. That is a part of the nature of being God; ultimately, He calls all of the shots, and when everything is resolved at the end of time, it is far better to be counted among those who decided to join with God than it is to be on the outside of His will. One of the most important and powerful aspects of the expression of that will of God is found in the way that He determined to save people, that is to save you and me, from ourselves and out of the state of sinfulness that we were born into. God imposed His will upon Himself in giving His Son, Jesus the Christ, as the culminating sacrifice that put an end to all other forms of external sacrifices that had previously been used to temporarily bridge the great gulf that existed between God and people due to our rebellion and rejection of following God’s will.

 

Now, in Christ, we have the opportunity to draw near to God in all ways and at all times. The former law and the rules for living righteously that were formed out of it are put behind us by the sacrificial blood that Christ shed for us. The cross is the point in time and the place where all other religious practices reach their terminus, for the effectiveness that may have come out of these ordinances and institutions was temporal and short lived to the point of fading away even before the aroma of the incense or the bleating of the sacrificial lamb had vanished from nose and ear. Even the most rigorous adherence to the law did not sanctify people, and the faithful practice of its ordinances was ineffective in granting us a state of permanent right standing, of holiness, before God. Thus, the law and the practice of its requirements could never sanctify any of us.

 

Christ alone does that. His blood is more than sufficient to cleanse any of us so that we are wholly and absolutely worthy to stand before our God and to withstand the judgement that will come for everyone at the end of time. As we are in Christ, so it is His holiness that is seen when we are so viewed. But this holiness, the sanctification that Christ gives to all who follow Him, is not solely intended to bring us into a place of acceptance into the presence of God in eternity; for, Christ sanctifies us in order to prepare us to engage in living out His will on earth for the remainder of our days here. As we have been made clean on the inside, so too we are to dwell as holy and righteous people in this world. Christ’s presence in and with us grants to us a form of freedom that allows us to love others, to pour out grace upon their pain, to give life where death attempts to rule, and to sooth and comfort souls that are being crushed by oppression of many kinds. These thoughts and acts and many others that imitate the manner that our Savior demonstrated to us are a direct expression of God’s indomitable will and are the sweet fruit that His Spirit brings into our lives and thus into this world.

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Now Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, “Keep the whole commandment that I command you today.”

Deuteronomy 27: 1

 

The commandment that Moses was giving to the people that he was leading was comprised of the rules and the essential structure for living as a community that belonged to the one true God. Although it certainly did make up the foundation for a civil law code, it was much more than that. There were other law codes in existence in their part of the world. However, none of them had as its center the expression of the singular starting point for all human interaction and transaction that was in God’s law, “Hear, O Israel; “The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” “(Dt. 6: 4, 5).

 

If this total and uncompromising love for God was not their reality, then they were not living in accordance with God’s ways. When that happened, there were always consequences to be paid. Living righteously did not mean an easy life, but it did mean that they were going to be continually blessed by God. These blessings from the Lord were great, wonderful, and profound for the followers of Moses. They are amazing and beyond everything else that can be experienced in life during our times as well. The act and the practice of remaining true to God and to following His will at all times and in all ways is a decision that each of us needs to make. As it was singularly important for Moses and the Israelites to make this decision, so making it is a life changing one for people today.

 

We hear many voices that try to tell us what it means to live well. There is an overwhelming amount of information available to us to use in processing almost every decision that we need to make. Yet, all of life, even in our over-informed, complex world, can be well managed and each of our decisions needs to be informed by this one, singular ancient expression of truth. If we love God as described, with the totality of our being; and we determine to keep His truth, love, justice, and righteousness before us in all that we think and do; we will truly dwell in the land that God has given to us for His purposes and there will be an eternal peace in our souls. Thus our doxology can be, “Hear, O people of the Lord, there is but one God; Father, Son and Spirit, three in one. Although my love for You is a weak shadow of Your love that is poured out upon me, I do love You, Lord, with all of my heart, soul and might. Amen.”