Doin' 44

August 12, 1999

Doin’ 44

Romans 3:20 – "Therefore no one will be declared righteous
in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we have become
conscious of sin" (NIV).

Some mornings the Lord allows me to take a beautiful canopy road to work.
It’s a two-lane road where the speed limit is much slower, so I am always
careful to observe it. Of course, this didn’t come easy, but after weeks of
"practice" I finally got the hang of it.

One morning I was driving to work, observing the speed limit, as an
on-coming car flashed its headlights at me. For those of you who don’t know,
this meant that there was a law enforcement officer up ahead. Well, after
seeing the flashing lights, the first thing I did was HIT THE BRAKES!!!—-even
though I was observing the law. You see, for a brief moment, I felt that I was
breaking the law when I was well within it.

Although our text is referring to another type of law, the principle
surrounding my driving incident is similar. Let me explain: I once had a talk
with a person who believed in God but not Jesus. This person stated, "If
everyone lived by the ten commandments, then this world would be a better
place." That statement is true, but here’s a serious question. How many of
us believe that we can get into heaven under our own righteousness? Zero.
Because we aren’t perfect. But that’s what was needed under the law:
perfection. So I told that person, "Sure, the ten commandments are good,
but on my best day I couldn’t keep all of them." Thank God For Jesus!!!
Because through Him we don’t have to be perfect (even though we should strive
for perfection).

By observing the law, we only see the "Thou Shalt Not" instead of
the "Thou Shalt" which is our grace—–even in my situation. I saw
the "thou shalt not exceed 45 mph." Instead, I should have seen,
"thou shalt drive 44 and enjoy thy days in prosperity upon the earth which
the Lord thy God has given thee." But I couldn’t help it — at the time. I
was looking at the law when I should have been looking at the grace.

To conclude, after learning my lesson, I took that highway the next morning,
and the same law enforcement officer was there again. But this time, I didn’t
hit the brake. This time, I knew that I was traveling the right speed on my way
to where I was supposed to be. I had my eyes on the grace, not the law. I was
doin’ 44 and livin’ large, my friend!! 🙂

If you’ve got Jesus, you’re on the right path. If you are growing daily,
you’re traveling at the right speed. And if your destination is to be closer to
Him, you’re on your way to where you are supposed to be. So stop worrying about
the things you’ve done before. Repent of them, ask for forgiveness, and you
will surely be forgiven. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger
and rich in love (Psalms 145:8). He’s not out to "get you" for your
sin; He died to "get you" under His grace. Don’t think you have to
give up everything because of what you can’t do. Live under the grace, drive 44
and kick it with both feet my friend. Kick it with both feet!