All Or None

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;  but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.  For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”  James 2:8–10

Many years ago now I heard a modern parable about a wealthy investor that was having a shopping mall built and hired a project manager to over see the job while he was out of the country for several months. 

They toured the site and reviewed the work that had been done and then talked over the plans for the completed work and when the investor left he gave one final piece of instruction, “Build everything, and locate every business exactly where the plans I’ve made tell you to.”

Months later, as the work was nearing completion, the investor returned and with the project manager toured the now finished shopping mall.  Most of it looked just like he’d expected it to but there were a few business that weren’t where he’d thought they’d be and when he was able to look at the blueprints, sure enough, the location for these businesses had been changed. 

Turning to the project manager he said, “You didn’t do anything the way I wanted you to.”

“But I did,” protested the project manager, “I only changed the location of a few businesses because it made more sense considering the flow of business in the mall.”

“That’s what I’m saying,” responded the investor, “It made more sense to you. The few changes you made tell me that you’d have changed everything if it hadn’t matched what you thought the plans should have been. You didn’t do anything the way I want. You did everything the way you wanted.”

Obedience to God is an all or none proposition. You either obey him in everything or you’re guilty of disobeying him in everything. The reason for this is because it’s all a question of whether or not you’re willing to submit your sinful heart and will to his perfect and righteous one. Will you follow his commands or will you substitute your own?

Substituting your own will for one or more of his commands demonstrates that you’re willing to substitute your own for all of them. 

Our history as sinners means that we don’t think like God thinks. We don’t really understand what love and righteousness are, and we have a tendency to think that things are ok when God knows they’re not. 

Taking Jesus as our Lord and Savior means that we’re to submit to him in everything, even when it doesn’t make sense to us. 

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