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Censor or Celebrate: The Whole Cookie

“And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
John 12:50 (NASB)

Someadsfasdfasdfasdfone once described me as a chocolate sandwich cookie—hard and crunchy on the outside but sweet and creamy on the inside—ouch. The comparison hurt, but it was true. Keeping rules and doing the right thing was evident to all; only a few saw my heart.

I admit that I used to view God and His Word as hard and crunchy. All I could see was, “do this” and “don’t do that.” I missed the soft center—the heart of God—and His affirmations such as, The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting... (Psalms 138:8).

Just like children enjoy scraping off the creamy filling of a cookie and discarding the rest, we are tempted to pick and choose the Bible words that suit us.  We even avoid and censor some as “dirty” words. Yet, when understood through the relational heart of a loving and gracious, heavenly Father, these words may be celebrated and are just as tasty.

First, let’s consider the word commandments from Jesus’ grace perspective. Grace lets us see God’s commandments as opportunities for the life of Christ to be revealed through us, not merely as obligations to be dutifully fulfilled.

Have you tasted the end result of flavorful liquids vigorously boiled and reduced to a thicker, concentrated, savory sauce, soup, or gravy? This process reminds me of Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice on the cross that effectively reduced God’s commandments to two. Love God wholeheartedly and love others as ourselves. His commandments connect us intimately with Himself, and aren’t those of a cold, harsh, distant, and impersonal dictator.

Those who adhere to the Law read John 14:15 to say, “Keep My commandments to show that you love Me.” Jesus, having fulfilled the Law so now grace abounds, said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. One approach feels like a burden, while the other is a grateful response and feels like freedom.

God’s commandments are life for us—eternal life. Let’s delight in the whole cookie!

Heavenly Father, Because of Your love, I desire to heed all Your words, including Your commandments.
Karen Sims

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