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The Fulfilled Law

(Matthew 5:17-20, 38-48)

Lesson 11 -- fourth quarter 2001
November 11, 2001

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2001, Christian Light Publications

Is there a "too small" commandment?

I wonder what commandment in the Bible would qualify as too small to matter. A commandment like this would not really be a requirement; rather, it would be something to be done once the "weightier matters of the law" got done. On your prioritized To Do list, this item would be last. I wonder what commandment that might be. Dare I offer some candidates?

"Grudge not one against another" (James 5:9). When was the last time you heard someone murmuring against someone else? When was the last time you did it? I know I have been guilty of this...even when I knew better. We so naturally stoop to speaking evil (or at least negatively or belittlingly) of someone who grinds on us or who has crossed us in some way. Can it possibly be that we think God doesn't care?!

"Be content with such things as ye have" (Hebrews 13:5). How easily we figure out ways to excuse our covetousness and lack of contentment! If we don't want bigger, we want better. And if we don't necessarily hanker for either of those, we wish for more. Has the evil one persuaded us with another one of his "Hath God said?" questions?

"In every thing give thanks" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Oh my, surely God doesn't expect us to practice this one literally, does He? Of course He does! God may have lots of breath, but He doesn't waste it just stringing letters and words together for the entertainment and intellectual exercise of it. While I do not believe God wants us to be thankful for everything, I do believe He commands us to express our thankfulness in the midst of everything. And yet how easily (and frequently?) I complain, fret, fuss, and fume instead...just as though this were the least important of God's commands.

"Be subject one to another" (1 Peter 5:5). Hmmm. Shall we skip it?

That's enough of that. I know and you know that no Biblical commandment is too small to matter. In James 2:10 we have this unmistakable warning: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." Then, of course, we have Matthew 5:19: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven." Considering this truth, let us each commit ourselves earnestly and sincerely to living fully in God's ways, esteeming each of His commands as worthy of our careful obedience.

Why go the second mile?

Let me tell you a "secret": one of my pet peeves is businesses that say they go the second mile. My friend, going the second mile is not a business policy nor a customer relations tactic; it is a principle of the kingdom of Heaven! Not only that, going the second the mile is something you do after you have been obligated to do something you didn't want to do in the first place.

And here's something else: second mile living is done for the sole benefit of the other. Second mile living is sacrificial. Second mile living does not see what it does as an "investment" that will yield some sort of temporal personal gain further on.

So, why go the second mile? To show someone that, after they have obligated you for the first mile, you want to bless them with even more.

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