Dear Ones,
Hope you had a good weekend. We were so blessed yesterday by seeing lots of family that we haven’t seen for a few years as we went to the funeral of my cousin’s son who died at 50 years of age. Even Jeff’s brothers never heard him complain but always thought of others before himself. This morning I made bars and did food prep and went to my exercise class. It’s a beautiful sunny day and will enjoy our walk later. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
 Are you a rule follower or a rule breaker? A friend in our apt. and I go to exercise classes and we follow our instructor as she leads us in various routines and workouts. Sometimes she calls attention to Lynn and me, and says we are the only one getting it right. Then she said, “I can bet you followed all the rules when you were in school too!” Everyone in class makes fun of us in a jesting way! But let us not go overboard about rules.
  Life isn’t all about rules for we cannot gain salvation by trying to keep all the commandments; we know that the Pharisees tried hard to keep them and even added to them. But Jesus had some harsh words for them for He knew their hearts. On the other hand, even though King David at times broke the rules (and had some hard consequences), he was spoken of as a man after God’s heart.
   God is more concerned about our heart motive than our efforts to keep the rules. Juliet Canha, minister and counselor, writes, “Love is the rule! Sometimes we might have to break man’s rules to obey the will of God-which is the higher law of love.” Jesus touched a leper, healed on the Sabbath, ate with sinners etc. But though he broke cultural rules he offered grace and met the needs of the people and loved them
   Juliet asks the question if we are more afraid of breaking the rules or failing to love people? If we are to love others as Jesus did, it will cost us for we may need to break some social and cultural rules to reach them. I remember people in one of our churches, asking me why I would help this poor family that was coming to the church as they were looked down upon.
   Jesus answered the Pharisees when they asked him which was the greatest commandment and put it in a nutshell when He said, we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” (Matt. 22:37-40) May we love like Jesus, even when it means breaking social and cultural rules!
   Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to help you see beyond the rules and offer His grace and love to others.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy