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November 17th 2019
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Jesus said he did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; “I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”13 He also said,
“I tell you the truth until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest
letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”14 (“Accomplished” can be read “fulfilled.”) Note the major clarification of his first statement about abolishing and fulfilling the Law. Nothing will disappear from the Law until everything
has been fulfilled. It can be argued that everything was fulfilled just before Jesus’ death on the cross when he uttered his last words, “It is finished!”15 Jesus had fulfilled his redemptive purpose as God’s sacrificial
lamb. He had become God’s sacrifice for sin. Paul told the Romans that
“Christ is the end of the law . . .”16 The footnote in the NIV Study
Bible points out that the word “end” (telos) can mean either (1) “termination,” “cessation,” or (2) “goal,” “culmination,” or “fulfillment” and suggests it is better to understand it in its latter sense, as fulfillment of the law.
The Amplified Bible states:
“For Christ is the end of the Law – the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him, the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. – That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him – as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on him.”
17 The Old Testament Law was fulfilled and it Christ it ceases to be. It does not govern the life of the New Testament believer. Paul insisted, “. . . you are not under law . . .”
18 Perhaps the best understanding is that Christ Jesus is both the cessation and the fulfillment of the Law.Jesus Abolished the Law
As further corroboration that we – New Testament believers – are not under the law, Paul said
that Jesus abolished the law through his sacrifice on the cross:
12 Galatians 5:2, 6.
13 Matthew 5:17.
14 Matthew 5:18.
15 John 19:30.
16 Romans 10:4.
17 Romans 10:4, Amplified Bible.
18 Romans 6:14.
Let's Stay Focused
“Jesus told those around Him, ‘Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:62).
God has an amazing life planned for you, but Jesus made it clear that you need to stay focused.
The Devil is committed to keeping you “out of the game.” He doesn’t want you doing Kingdom work. Keeping you distracted is one of the methods he uses to make you ineffective. Let's Stay Focus, September 8, 2019, is just around the corner (Church in the park). Remember to make five (5) contacts.
Would you agree that distractions abound in our world today? Take people-pleasing, for example. When we are distracted by pleasing others, their plans become more important than God’s plans. Let's Stay Focus, don't allow anything to prevent you from making five (5) contacts for the Lord, between now and September 8m, 2019. We become consumed by thinking about what others want and expect from us rather than discovering God’s will. Your hobbies can become a distraction when they become an obsession. There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby—unless it becomes a top priority in your heart. Some things aren’t necessarily bad; they just aren’t good. “‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything is helpful” (1 Corinthians 10:23). Let's Stay Focus. If a hobby or a habit isn’t helpful, it’s probably a distraction. For your life, do you want what’s good or what’s best?
Getting caught up in the past could be a distraction in a couple of different ways. You might get stuck by reminiscing over the “good ol’ days,” ignoring your God-given opportunities in the present. Let's Stay Focus. On the other hand, you might be overburdened with regret and unable to move forward. In any event, the past is a prison when it keeps you from focusing on God’s work for today. Let's Stay Focus.
Pleasing others, obsessing over hobbies, vacations and other travels and being stuck in the past certainly aren’t the only things that can be distractions. Take a moment to ask yourself what the most important things in your life are. Right them down so you can remember them and ask God to help you remain focused on what is most important.
Talk About It
Think of some of the good things that you’ve put first in your life. How have they distracted you from the most important things and from God’s mission for you?
Why are we so easily distracted by seemingly good things that are not God’s best for us?
Where in your life have you seen the greatest benefit from staying focused on what matters most.
Let's Stay Focused
“Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need”
(1 Corinthians 4:7-8).
nstead of focusing on what you don’t have and what didn’t happen, you can choose to be grateful for what you do have and what has happened. This doesn’t come naturally, not even for the apostle Paul, who said, “I have learned to be content.” Being content is a learning process.
It’s hard to admit we struggle with envy because it’s such an ugly emotion. When you’re envious of others, you really want them to fail, because it makes you feel better that they don’t have more than you. That’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? If we can learn to be grateful for what we have, we can begin to get rid of these feelings of envy.
It’s important to understand that envy is not about having a desire or a dream or a goal. It’s good to have those. Envy is not about looking forward to something or hoping that something can happen in your life or even wondering if you should have something. Instead, envy is resenting somebody who has already obtained what you desire or who has reached a goal you have yet to attain. Envy says you can’t be happy until you get that desire or reach that goal. Envy is not being grateful for what you already have.
The Bible tells us that we already have more than we need and far more than we deserve. Every good thing in our lives is a gift from God, and it is up to him to decide when and how he blesses us. It’s up to us to choose to be grateful and make the most of what we’ve been given.
Talk About It
What factors or situations seem to trigger the “envy issue” in your life?
How has envy negatively affected relationships in your life?
What is one practical way you can practice gratitude today?