They say ignorance is not excuse for the law, meaning that even if you didn’t know a law exists, it still applies to you.  So, you could go to a foreign country and unknowingly break a local law and be subject to whatever punishment they deem appropriate.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been guilty of not getting an appropriate highway pass when driving through parts of Europe, as well as an expired parking meter, not to mention times I likely went above the posted speed limit.  If I would have been caught doing any of these things there, or even back home, I might have had to pay the price of those actions.  Some might have the mentality that an action is illegal only if they get caught, but that does not deter them from knowingly committing the crime.  Then its just a matter of time before one does get caught.  If you look over your life, what laws of man or God have you been guilty of breaking?  What laws have you broken already this week? 

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.  James 2:10

When we look at the Law instituted by God for his people in the Old Testament, we come to find out is there to show us our sin, because no man but one was able to keep it fully.  Many of these laws are even built into our society and cultures, such as people not working on the Sabbath, and other traditions in each part of the world.  You may know people who try to keep all the laws of man and God and may even try your best to do this yourself.  But as Christians, we may be held to an even higher standard than others in our society.  When Christ calls his followers to love their neighbors and forgive others, these are things that most in our society do not regularly do, or are even inclined to do.  The truth is that we often fail to keep these and other benchmarks in our lives.  So, do we give up altogether in trying to keep them, or just lower the standards to try and make us look better, but still condemn others when they fail to meet the same standards?  Or do we encourage one another to continue to live for that higher standard that God call us to do? 

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.  James 4:17

Let us live with a spirit of mercy and forgiveness, but strive to live our lives not for ourselves, but for the benefit of others.  When we live with selfish ambition, we often ignore the needs of others and quench the spirit of Christ living within us.  Even if we strive to keep the letter of the law, we may still fail in doing what God is calling us to do above that law.  Let us not be legalistic and condemn others with our tongues and our actions, but seek to give new life through forgiveness and encouragement.  May we each be convicted of those laws we break, and find new life in living above those laws in new ways that God calls us to do. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!   All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.  2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Yours in Christ,