Originally scheduled for August 14
particularly Americans, will look at these two verses and see what
appears to be a contradiction. The way of freedom, it seems, is said
here to consist of two things:
First, you must obey God’s laws forever.
Second, you must seek out God’s precepts.
psalmist says, will result in you walking about in freedom. For many
of us it seems the exact opposite. What we really want to do is be
free of God’s laws and his precepts; then we will consider ourselves
really free. We may begin by seeking the fallacy in that reasoning.
suppose that you are in possession of one octopus and one eagle. In
your desire to set these creatures free, you bundle up the octopus
into your hand and hurl it into the air, crying out, “Fly! Fly!” The
octopus, I suspect, would view this procedure rather dimly. The
eagle, on the other hand, would view it in exactly the way you
intended — it permits him to be free. What’s the difference? Pretty
simple, really. An eagle is intended and designed to fly. If you
want the octopus to be free, throw him in the ocean. The creature is
free when it is able to do what its creator designed it to do.
Freedom does not consist of anything you want; it consists of doing
what you were designed to do.
So then, what
was man designed to do? At the very beginning of the Bible, God says
“let us make man in our image.” You were designed to be like God.
Therefore, when you are most like God, you are most free. The first
step in this is obedience to his laws. Eagles, for example, don’t
attempt to reinvent the laws of flight or aerodynamics; they take
advantage of the laws that exist. To do this, they have to have in
their way some knowledge of the laws of flight. Similarly, human
beings if they are to imitate God must know what the rules of
spiritual life are. We must first be obedient if we are to be free.
But it is the
second step that concerns us with regard to communion this morning.
We are to “seek his precepts.” We are to look and find the basic
principles by which God operates. This does not concern us with the
tiny little infractions, but the grand sweep of what God has done.
It is quite clear what his precepts start with. He tells us that the
greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your
heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is to love your neighbor
as yourself. These are his great precepts. He has taught them to you
not just by word but by example. Communion is given to you so that
every time you partake you will remember what he has done both so
that you may be grateful and so that you may take his example. No
greater love exists than that of a man laying down his life for his
friends — and that’s what he’s done for you. He died — it’s his
body, it’s his blood — so that you might live forever in the
imitation of God.
well this morning your obedience to his laws. Is there repentance
due? Then do it quickly and do it thoroughly. Then, as you leave,
remember he has given you the great example of love. Freedom for
human beings comes when they seek his precepts, and there is none
greater than this. When you leave this morning, do so as a child of
God walking in love.