1 Tim. 1:8-11
“But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”
I have told you many times before, “a people who cannot love their neighbor, cannot be free.” Pastor Jesse Kennon once cried from the pulpit, “What is it that constrains you?”
Is it that you’re a good person? If that’s the case, you’re unconstrained! Is it the law that constrains you? Then I tell you that you are unconstrained, the lawless care nothing for the law, and we who do care, know that what Paul told Timothy is true, “…that the law is good (only) if one uses it lawfully.” Today, in our courts I see the law used against us, and all around us I see the law perverted, twisted unlawfully to satisfy our own selfish desires.
How do you see God when you look for Him, assuming that you do, and fully aware that most people don’t. Do you see Him an angry, wrathful God? Do you see Him sad, pensive and withdrawn? Or do you see him exuberant, joyful and happy? Any of these are possible at any given time, according to circumstances. God is a living person, with feelings and emotions, like us. We are made in His image, and how you see Him may be a reflection of your relationship to Him. If you are one of His children you might see Him as Paul did, in verse 11 above, where he calls God, “blessed,” in this usage meaning “joyful.”
Unless you are constrained by the blood of Christ Jesus and His love, having the law of love written on your heart by the indwelling Holy Spirit, you are not constrained at all. You may have a creed, a convenient standard of behavior that you follow, but I warn you that the circumstances of this fallen world can render your creed meaningless at any moment, and standards of behavior are lowered by every generation as a convenience for immorality. Paul points out to us, as he does to Timothy, that “sound doctrine,” that is, doctrine contrary to his cited list of lawless behaviors, is structured “according to the glorious gospel of (our joyful) God…” and I point out to all of God’s children that, like Paul and Timothy, we too have been entrusted with that gospel, the good news of God’s love through Jesus Christ our Lord. Share it with someone. Share it today so that you and someone else might both see God’s smile.