(Pharisaic) Hedges and Fences

Written by Aleck Cartwright

Continued from page 1

We can either put up hedges which need maintenance and upkeep and are a delight to see when they are cared for or in our lives or we can put up fences which distance us fromrepparttar world and become a judgement onrepparttar 126999 world. We all like friends we can relate to and be real with not holier-than-thou people who keep up a façade of holiness. Putting up fences make me less approachable and more unreachable. The Pharisees had many fences to "keep them from sin" and they were fenced in and bound to them and by them.

Pharisees hadrepparttar 127000 most law because they figured that if they did not keeprepparttar 127001 law they would sufferrepparttar 127002 consequences of disobeying God. For this reason they decided to make more laws to protect them from being tempted to breakrepparttar 127003 original law of God. If there were grey areas new laws were made to clarify old ones, it was never ending. These laws were to prevent them from coming anywhere close to temptation and gave them a sense of holiness not because they just keptrepparttar 127004 law of God but also because they were trying to keeprepparttar 127005 man-made laws that were thought up to keep them as far away from sin as possible!

So in their minds they were holy and blameless above and beyondrepparttar 127006 law of God. In effect going beyondrepparttar 127007 call of duty! This sounds good doesn’t it? Yet ultimately it turned to bite them inrepparttar 127008 heel. No one can keeprepparttar 127009 law of God and that is why we need divine redemption because nothing in us can save us. Humanism will never be salvation to us. The Pharisees started out wanting to please God and ended up displeasing Him because though they had made it harder for themselves to sin againstrepparttar 127010 law they had now nurtured pride for this achievement in their hearts!

Many of us today are just as Pharisaic and want to be noted as spiritual and above reproach, praying longer, studying more diligently, fasting more often and tithingrepparttar 127011 greatest amounts. There is nothing wrong with any of these things but ultimately what other people see is either hedges or fences in our lives. Both need time invested in them and yet they can conjure up different responses fromrepparttar 127012 world. The differences between hedges and fences is in their motivation,repparttar 127013 idea of pleasing God can be executed in two very different ways depending on our focus, either ourselves (selfishness) or God (Godliness). One is holier than thou and judgemental, demanding that others follow torepparttar 127014 letter ofrepparttar 127015 law, andrepparttar 127016 other is humble and upright but realistic and vulnerable and without care for reputation.

Which one am I building up in my life? Hedges or fences? I think that many times we call a fence a hedge. Time will tell what will survive and last into eternity as an offering dedicated to God and what will just be a work of dedication to self.

My prayer is that God would search my heart and allow me to seerepparttar 127017 fences that need to be pulled down to make way for hedges.

for more....www.god-life.com

Aleck is a missionary and teacher, find out more at www.god-life.com

God-life: Job's Suffering

Written by Aleck Cartwright

Continued from page 1

Maybe it's because bad things happen to all people, and if anything, that is exactly what God has promised us as believers. He will not give us more than we cna bear, but I think at times it sure will come close! The importance ofrepparttar matter is that we believe and trust God in spite of it all. Jesus was all man and all God, He was not part-man or part-god, He had to learn who He was as a Son of God, being made perfect through His suffering! How can Jesus who was perfect be made more perfect through His suffering? The fact is that we move fro faith to faith in our belief of God, our trust deepens as we recognise our need for God and revelation from Him in all that we go through. Jesus had to trust God in His life as well as His death, He had to trust that He wasrepparttar 126998 Son of God in spite of His creation rejecting Him and He had to trust God throughrepparttar 126999 suffering ofrepparttar 127000 cross, to know that His death would be worth it. Jesus had no guarantee thatHis life would be happy, but He knew that His life would be worth it.

Jesus saw throughrepparttar 127001 cross torepparttar 127002 life that it would give to mankind. Jesus death is a place fo life and death, in fact it is where they meet. In our suffering too, we have a joining of our death, frailty and weakness with God's raighteousness, salvation and eternity in us.

Job inrepparttar 127003 same way had to go through what He did before He finally saw thatrepparttar 127004 God He had only heard rumour of, he could now see and know intimately. It is in our suffering that we are most dependant on our life in Christ, for our life is hid with Christ in God.

Suffering is not from God, but it does reveal to us where our dependancy is and is a good test of character. It is also where our faith is tested. Allow God's life to meet you at your point of greatest suffering, it might be a relationship, a sickness, a death or a situation, but in everything, greater is He that is in you than anything that can come against you and ultimately, just as in Jesus, your will be more than a conqueror.

Aleck is a missionary and teacher and runs www.god-life.com as a source of encouragement and hope for people in today's climate.

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