I wonder if we are aware that we are increasingly looking for an advantage.
Looking at the world around us we see a world who is focused on being first,
to the point of rudeness. Why is it that we think we deserve to be first, or
in some way treated differently than others? Our passage today reminds us
that the rules written long ago still apply. Greetings in the name of our
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
At the track every team is looking for the things that will make their
car go the fastest. They are searching for that one thing that gives them an
advantage over the rest. That in itself isn't wrong, it is when that desire
leads us across the line into the gray area, that questionable area of the
rules. I have heard it said ďitís not what the rules say, itís what they
donít say.Ē The proliferation of the rule book has to do with the idea that
it didnít say we couldnít do it. Some have even been known to actually break
the rules to gain an advantage. Weíve heard it said, ďwe get paid to cheat
and they get paid to catch us.Ē We rationalize our creative interpretation
of the rules as something necessary to get that competitive advantage that
allows us to win.
What is a win really worth if it is won by cheating? I guess we could all
rationalize that everyone is doing it. I think that is a trait of the human
condition. When we manipulate things to our advantage we search for reasons
why, reasons that will make us feel like we really didnít do anything wrong.
That lie will open the door for all kinds trouble.
There are those who believe winning at all cost is the right motto to
live by. Somehow we think integrity is for losers. Why is it that we think
we don't have to answer to anyone? Jesus introduced his discussion on the
Ten Commandments with this passage. As we continue our Winter Bible Study we
will take a look at how this short passage has a big impact.
Matthew 5:17-20; "Do
not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 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.
Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others
to do the same
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and
teaches these commands
will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the
Pharisees and the teachers of the law,
you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Those commandments were written so long ago that we think surely they
are outdated. Jesus makes it pretty clear that the law, the rules, still
apply. We tend to think that the rules and the law are for someone else. We
are not that bad and surely God will understand. We look for a way to do
what we want to do without guilt or consequences.
Jesus used this passage as an introduction to his discussion about how
the commandments should be interpreted. Jesus took the time to let us know
how we were in error in our interpretation. Have you ever thought you had
the right interpretation of the rules only to have the correct
interpretation pointed out to you? Iíve seen many racecar parts confiscated
from teams who thought they had the right interpretation only to find out
Rules govern the way we live. They keep order in our lives. We, however,
think they can be bent or broken if by doing so we gain something, something
we want. It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, right? Take a
look at the passage and see if that is the case.
Jesus didn't come to remove our responsibility to follow God's law. He
came to complete the law, to show us how to live according to the law. He
came to help us understand what the law means and how to apply it to our
Sometimes we can read the rules and wonder what they really mean. We
start to interpret them based on our own understanding. In fact the Jewish
leaders built a whole structure of laws from the original ten. That was one
reason why Jesus took the time to clarify. The Jewish leaders were leading
the people in the wrong direction. Jesus makes reference to this when he
says we need to live better lives than those leaders did if we want to enter
the Kingdom of God. You see they only pretended to follow God's law. They
had an interpretation that benefited their needs. Their interpretation was
not correct. Jesus came to set the record straight.
We need to understand what the law says and what it means. Jesus took the
time to explain it and in the next few weeks we will explore how He taught
us to live and conduct our lives. We will reference the original Ten
Commandments. If you would like to reread them you can find them in your
bible in Exodus 20:1-17; Scripture tells us that they were written by the
finger of God. I encourage you to join us and learn what it means to live
according to God's Law.
PREPARING TO HEAD SOUTH Ė Iíve seen many counting down the days
until the racing season begins in Florida. We have a few venues we hope to
be at, both dirt and asphalt. This opportunity gives us a chance to be with
many of the touring series before they spread out across the country in
pursuit of the championship. We are trying to cover as much as we can with
reduced resources. Please pray for our Chaplains as they minister. Also, if
you would like to partner with us we would welcome your help. Please check
out the options for one-time or automatic monthly contributions on our
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto
Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue
this ministry. Thank You.
Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and
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www.rwjm.com. Send us
your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing family
you are in, or give us a call. Remember that God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
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Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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