Love is why we Have to

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Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. Romans 13:10 NLT 

A young grade school boy and his daddy were walking down a country road, when they noticed a car pull over to the shoulder a few hundred meters up the road. The passenger door opened, and a little puppy fell out the door into the ditch near the shoulder of the road. The boy watched in amazement as the car then sped off. The boy ran to the aid of the little puppy. He found the puppy whining and confused as well as looking malnourished. When the father finally caught up to the boy, the boy firmly told his daddy, “I know you may not let me keep him, but we have to take him home and feed him right now!” 

What did the little boy mean by “we have to?” How did an abandoned puppy suddenly became his problem? Was there some law written in stone that the boy had to rescue this poor dog? As a matter fact there was a law, but it was not written in stone. The only reason why the boy said, “we have to” is because there was a law written on that little boy’s heart. 

In Luke 10:30-37 Jesus tells a familiar story we call today, “The Good Samaritan.” In the story both the Levi and the priest knew the law of God which was written in stone, but yet they passed by a suffering brother, because that law was not written on their hearts. Then a Samaritan walks by who has the law of love written on his heart. He at once recognized what he had to do, not because of the law written in stone but because it was a law of love tugging at his heart strings. Like puppet strings, his heart strings controlled his behavior. Love and compassion were written on his heart and controlled his behavior. 

Writing God’s law of love on our heart is not new to the New Testament. the goal was never to have the law of love written on stone. The ultimate goal was always to have the law written on our hearts. This goes back to the Old Testament. 

But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33 NLT 

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 NLT 

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18 NLT

True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans, and you must never accept a widow’s garment as security for her debt. Deuteronomy 24:17 NLT

In the Old Testament as well as today, God does not just want the letter of the law written on stone. He wants the spirit of the law written on our hearts. That means showing love and compassion for a little puppy that will never be able to help you. It means showing love and compassion for a neighbor or foreigner who would probably just spit on you and pass you by if the situation was reversed.  

This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:3 NLT 

A Samaritan had to rescue a foreigner left to die in a ditch, a young boy had to rescue a helpless puppy, not because of a law carved in stone. They had to because the law was etched upon their hearts. 

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

Proverbs in Light of The Cross; Written on The Heart

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart.Tie them around your neck. Proverbs 6:20-21 NLT

Obey my commands and live!
    Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
    Write them deep within your heart. Proverbs 7:2-3 NLT

While many people think the ten commandments should be posted on courthouses and schools, I saw a t-shirt that read, “Put the Commandments back where they belong, in our hearts.” When you read the Bible you read time and again about the Commandments being in our hearts and homes, and not necessarily on public building walls. I am not saying there is anything wrong with them being on the walls, but we miss the whole point if they are not written on our hearts.

Many people believe the commandments being written on our hearts is a new idea found in the New Testament, but as we read here in Proverbs the concept is actually an Old Testament concept. God’s original plan was for Him to write the law of love on our hearts. We see this in Jeremiah.

But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33 NLT

The New covenant is actually in the Old Testament! The New Covenant, of letting God write His law on our hearts is the only Covenant God ever endorsed. God made clear to His people, that He was the one who rescued them from the bondage in Egypt. They did not rescue themselves. God also made it clear the He would rescue them from the bondage of sin if they would trust His promise to write the law not just on stone but on their hearts.

Let’s not trust old useless man made promises and covenants. Let’s trust in Jesus’ new and everlasting promise and covenant, and let Him write His commandments on our heart. This way they will be with us wherever we go, including courthouses and public buildings.