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Daily Devotional for September 23

September 23                                                Matthew 5:17-20

        "Think not that I have come to abolish the law
     and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them
                               but to fulfill them."

Christ is the fulfillment of God's covenant with us. Christ's
life was itself an expression of God's love for us - God's own
Child sacrificed for our sins. Jesus tells us that he will not
abolish the law, but fulfill it. What does this mean for us today?

When something is "fulfilled," it becomes complete, and the
next step in the process can occur. Fulfillment also implies
transformation. Thus the law that God's people had followed
before Christ appeared had served its purpose and was finished,
but it was not thrown away totally. Instead, it became fulfilled
and transformed into a law of freedom. It is in this new law
of freedom that grace saves us.

By Christ's life and death, we too, like the law, have been
fulfilled and transformed. We are fulfilled in Christ because
Christ's death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins. We
are transformed because Christ's death and Resurrection
established a way for us to receive a new nature, the very
nature of God. That is why Paul wrote, "Though our outer
nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed
every day." (II Corinthians 4:16) Once we acknowledge and
accept this transformation in Christ, we begin to see ourselves
as whole and complete.

Sometimes it can be hard to really accept fulfillment in God's
grace. We may feel unworthy and unlovable. But all aspects
of ourselves are worthy in Christ's eyes. We do not need to
earn God's grace or God's love; all we need to do is open
ourselves to receive it. We are worthy not because of our
accomplishments or our possessions, but merely because we
are children of God. God's grace is enough for us.

If there are parts of you that are hurting or ashamed, let the
peace and fulfillment of the Holy One comfort and heal you
today. Know that you are loved by God today and always,
loved fully in every part of your being. Allow this love to flow
into your life, transforming all it touches.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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