Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

TWO ROYAL LAWS

              The Five Sundays of Christmas (part 2)

                    Two Royal Laws

                                November 30, 2014

Matthew 22:34-40


But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40 NKJV)

 

It began in the Old Testament with 613 laws which man could not even come close to keeping, so God in his wisdom and mercy summons Moses to Mount Sinai where God gives him 10 commandments which, by the time Moses makes it to the base of the mountain he encounters people from his tribes in the very act of simultaneously breaking all ten....so....God, again through his love, mercy, and compassion upon his fallen children sends Jesus...He reduces the ten down to two...and we still stumble and fall at accomplishing these two, but the good news of the day is his mercy, by where we live under grace and through God’s amazing gift, we now answer not to a taskmaster, but to our Father and king who has given us these TWO ROYAL LAWS!

 



The first and the greatest...

 

Psalms 63:1-8

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. (
Psalms 63:1-8 NKJV)

The two royal laws could be thought of as the process of making paint. One is the catalyst and the other is the pigmentation. The first is the most important in that it establishes an undying relationship with Father God who we come to know as our peace, our security, our blood, and in so doing, we place everything else back burner. We crucify our flesh for the sake of being in his presence. We give up our will for the honor of knowing His love...and we honor him with our lives.

 

Last Week, we talked about the wonderful life of God that pulsed through David’s veins. We determined that a fierce love for God was the abounding difference between a literary relationship with the King...and an undying fire for living and dwelling in His presence. Unfortunately, life drags us down the halls of self-importance, chasing the dollar, and personal agenda to the point where God takes a safe second or third in many of our lives.

But the day is coming and is even rapidly approaching where a surface glance relationship with God will not stand. The heat from the world is too intense. The temptations of our instant gratification technological world are closing in on us. A “nearer our God unto thee” relationship will not be able to simply roll off our lips, but must dwell steadfastly in our hearts. God as number one in our lives will no longer be able to be simply the semantics of church, it will be the battle cry of our souls.  The First and the Greatest is to love the Lord our God with ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, and ALL of our mind!



The second like it...

Romans 13:8-10


Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 NKJV)

This past week as I watched insanity unfold before my eyes, I thought about the scripture in Proverbs 14 regarding tearing down your home with your own hands. As I watched a community in Ferguson Missouri destroy itself, I had to wonder how the demons laughed as hurt simply begat more hurt.  Loving your neighbor does not extend only to when things are going well. It is laboratory tested in times when the heat is turned up to incinerator levels. It is proven in adversity. Anyone can get along when everyone agrees, but wait until the fires of difference become stoked with offense and blown upon by the winds of opinion. 

Jesus didn’t say that the other was like it because it also involved love. This royal law was given because inside it was the proof for love of God, if you can trust him enough to believe that those he created and loves are also worth your unquestioning love. Loving your neighbor as yourself requires you to judge others with the same mercy and forgiveness that you place on yourself. You may be hard on yourself in the right situation, but eventually, you let yourself off the hook and you do not sentence yourself to death as we have the propensity to do to others.

Remember that Jesus did not come here to bring an end to the Law; he came here to fulfill it. If he were to have ended it, we would have more anarchy than we already do have. The other is like it in that How can we say we love our God when we struggle to forgive our neighbor without carrying a sharpened axe for the next time. It’s time for the church to beat its swords into plowshares. If we cannot live and walk this out in the church, we will certainly never preach it to the nations with any effectiveness. God has given us a miraculous Christmas Gift...It is His love and it is the gift that keeps on giving.

 


The balance of creation hang on these two...
I Peter 3:8-12 NKJV

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” (
I Peter 3:8-12 NKJV)

 

In Matthew 22:40, we see the importance of the assignment and we also see the trust that God has placed in us! For in these two commandments, the Father has ordained his children to lead the lost and hurting to him based solely upon our intense love and passion for a relationship with Him and our ability to show who we are and how great our God is, by the love he has placed inside us toward each other.

1peter 3 here tells us in descriptive how we are to respond to each other. Look at the words, brothers....tenderhearted...courteous...not returning evil for evil.

Christmas is a time when we as believers shine in showing our faith. Remember our love is the feet to our faith. Anything without feet does not go far.  This is the time when we display who we are as believers. We do not simply impress the world with our religiosity, but we set the pace...we regulate our pulse and our stride to walk this life out the whole year. Telling someone about your faith is one thing...showing it to them in High Definition as it pours from your life is another.  Love your God fiercely with all of your heart, soul and mind. Give your neighbor the tidal surge from this monsoon of love with your God. Let the first Law spill over into others fulfilling the second. Watch your world change around you.

 

                                                                                          

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