1 Kings 18:20-39 Psalm 16:1-2,4-5,8,11;Matthew 5:17-19
“I have not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)
High jumpers face a daunting task: propelling their entire bodies over a bar that can stand as much as two feet higher than the top of their heads. From the ground, it looks impossible that the soles of anyone’s feet could actually rise above that bar. Yet they do. The bar in today’s reading seems to be set impossibly high, too. Yet Jesus really does mean that he wants us to uphold the whole law. He wants us to live pure and upright lives. He wants us to be perfect as his heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).
It can be done! Though the bar may look impossibly high from where you stand, Jesus never sets unattainable tasks for us. And he never leaves us on our own just to do the best we can. He promises us: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). He is with us to help us. He is with us to show us what the law means—simply to love God and love our neighbor (Luke 10:27).
Never forget that Jesus is with you to teach you day after day after day. Perhaps a Scripture verse stands out as you read. An impulse rises in you, prompting you to encourage a struggling friend or provide a meal to an ailing neighbor. Maybe your conscience twitches at some point in your day, moving you to a moment of repentance. Pay attention! Most likely, that’s Jesus teaching you. As you turn your heart to him, as you strive to embrace his commands, he is with you to help you, pouring out grace upon grace on your life.
Jesus is with you, too, to forgive you when you fail. Your selfishness or anger, greed or petty faultfinding come as no surprise to him! He will always forgive, and take right up where he left off teaching you. He is with you to fill you with more of his love, so that you feel more energized to follow his commandments. He is with you to give you the wisdom and knowledge of how to do it. Jesus didn’t set the bar high so that you would fail. He did it to show how high he can take you!
“Jesus, fill me with more of your love, and give me the grace to follow your teaching today.” ~wau