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“For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.  But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:13-14).

Some things have never changed.  There are those who set rules up as the thing itself; whether or not they actually follow them is another matter.  The Lord God, who loves us, created us, and has given us the opportunity for salvation.  This is what our faith is all about.  Yes, our behavior matters, but that is what we do, not who we are.  Who we are in the Lord, is what all of this is all about.

Lord, sift my heart so that I would not mix these things up and chase after those who insist upon right practice.  Guide me in the way of everlasting life so that in relationship with You I would abide by what is right and fitting for the sake of the relationship You have established with me.  Do not let me think that my behavior, or being pleasing in Your sight, is the condition by which we have a relationship.  You have given me Your word first.

Jesus, You died for the forgiveness of our sins, taking our place on the cross, so that we would be freed from sin’s power.  Sin brings death, but You give life.  You have not freed me to do as I please, but You have freed me to do what is pleasing to the Father.  Lead me, Lord, in the way of everlasting life which You have established so that I would not fall into the age-old trap of trying to live the law as the thing itself.  Guide me in learning how to love You and my neighbor as You would have me love.  Amen.