Should you live by rules?

I really like to know the rules so that I can follow them.  The question, “Should you live by rules?” seems to be a trick question; however,  I wonder if  you mix rules up with faith, God, and love then is it really a trick question?

So those now who live by faith are blessed along with Abraham, who lived by faith—this is no new doctrine! And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.”

The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: “The person who believes God, is set right by God—and that’s the real life.” Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule-keeping, a fact observed in Scripture: “The one who does these things [rule-keeping] continues to live by them.”  Galatians 3:9-12 (MSG)

When I read this I think about my relationship with my kids.

Are my kids important to me?  “Yes!”

Do I let them know they are important?  “Yes!  When I am angry and when I am loving, I want them to always know they are important!”

Do I have a relationship with them? “Yes, I am there for them.  I know them and they know me!”

Do I show them how to live?  “Yes, by my actions.  The unfortunate part is that my bad actions are included in this.”

Based on these questions and how you answer them, you will know how your kids will respond to you.  If they know that they are important and that you show an interest in their lives, they will love you and want to honor you.  How can they honor me as a parent?  They honor me by living within my will.  Right?

Which is more important to live by rules or just believing?  If you believe in God and trust Him, what are your actions?  Do you follow rules to get credit with God or do you follow God and try to live by His rules?  What do you think?


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