If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you do well;
Inability into ability. This is the essence of the learning process. We begin unable to do anything of ourselves to become like our Lord. Only by accepting Christ Jesus in the deepest parts of ourselves can we ever come to any sort of the perfection we seek. But do we really want that? Dare I say that most of us desire the comfort, the peace that Jesus gives, of course, but maybe settle for the sentimental, the cosy association with Jesus, which is not the fullness of His life in us at all.
As it dawns on us that this is all so hard, that He demands an excellence, a standard which is unobtainable to any one of us; and yet it is a standard which the law demands as we read in this passage from James, and it is something that must be held to if we are to reach our desired goal in His Kingdom. How can our absolute inability to reach that standard be turned from inability into ability? After all, we read that For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble on one point, he is guilty of all.
Without doubt there is a demand on each one to step up and endeavour to raise our sights to that highest calling. It requires a deep commitment to attain the impossible, but the very impossibility (of fulfilling the law) by ourselves, puts such a life out of our reach. We are adrift in rough seas with only a distant sight of the promised land. It will take more than every fibre within us to reach that goal. Only by the Holy Spirit can we rise.
Christ within us speeds us across the surface of the waters to the land we seek. It requires trust in something where our natural inclination says there is no trust; it requires faith in what seems a vapour, a shadow, a vague form hardly seen in the corner of the eye. And yet… if we have had a touch from Him, we know that this insubstantial, barely glimpsed light at the edge of experience is our only hope. Reaching out to grasp the ungraspable, to touch the untouchable — to touch the hem (the very edge) of His garment, creates an everlasting bond with the Almighty.
Does that sound too fanciful to your ear? It should do to any reasonable man, and yet it is the truth to anyone that the Lord has sought. Our Lord Jesus is not reason — He is Spirit and Truth. Open your heart to Him. In your hour of need He will appear. What does He require of the one who seeks Him? Repentance — and the very act of seeking Him acknowledges that repentance; that we cannot attain our hearts true desire without laying down our life and taking up His. He will redeem.
Reach out and touch the Lord as He goes by,
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:
REACH OUT AND TOUCH THE LORD.
God is not done with you; he is not done with me. He is showing you and me mercy and kindness so that it can flow out of you and me to people who do not yet know him, to sinners of all kinds. The Lord does not fight with the weapons with which the enemy fights. Our God is a God of love who combats the hatred and bitterness of the world with love and tender mercy. And he is shaping us so that we too may have a tender, gentle spirit. Would you soften our hearts, oh God?
LISTEN TO THIS MEDITATION HERE…
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MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART