James 2 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.” James 2:10
I am an artist. It’s a “condition” that should be covered by insurance. When a group of pastors get together, it’s called a “conference”. When artists get together, it’s called a “support group”. As an artist, I live mostly in the conceptual realm and I depend on others to handle the details.
My wife has to write my list of chores, just like one of our kids. Often, she’ll say, “There’s a lot here, but MAKE SURE you do #’s 1, 2, 3…”. Those items are the PRIORITY items. If I don’t complete the list, but cover the priorities, she’s happy.
While not everyone is an artist, if we’re honest we must admit we’ve all had the “priority list” approach to G_d’s law. None of us has completely followed G_d, so the natural assumption is that G_d won’t hold anyone accountable for falling a little short.
We try and stay away from the BIG sins: murder, stealing, and maybe, adultery…our culture seems to be more tolerant of that one. But when it comes to lying, coveting or observing Shabbat, we figure G_d doesn’t care as much. We say, “If I do the PRIORITIES on the list, G_d will be happy.” Guess what? G_d’s standard is perfection.
“Be perfect, even as Your Father in Heaven is Perfect” Matthew 5:48
The 10 Commandments are not a prioritized list. They are G_d’s directive, His character & standard articulated to mankind. He itemized the Law, so we can comprehend facets of His Holiness. By commanding we keep the entire Law, G_d is commanding us to keep His character. Anything short of the complete Law is unacceptable, because it humiliates G_d’s character.
You may say, “Well then, NOBODY can please G_d through the Law!” I agree, and so does Scripture. That is exactly James’ point, as he was writing to the Messianic Jews dispersed around the world. James was laying-out the impossibility of men being justified before G_d, strictly on the merits of their good deeds.
“He made the One who knew no sin to be the sin offering for us, so that we might become the righteousness of G_d in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
The only way to keep the entire Law is through a saving relationship with Messiah. Yeshua took the judgment that our sin deserves upon Himself, atoning for our sin. He fulfilled the Torah on our behalf. Furthermore, He offers that atonement to us…lawbreakers…free of charge, if we would turn from our sin and receive His salvation.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Sunday, November 24, 2013