Week Two, 2020
Law and Equity
“The Lord shall judge the people with equity” (Psalm 98).
The history of law dates way back to the time Moses ascended Mount Sinai and God gave him what we know as The Ten Commandments. They were a list of do’s and don’ts, and later grew into the Jewish codification of some 613 rules or commandments. They covered many issues, including instructions about food, punishments and how God should be worshipped. They were to be strictly followed. There was no wiggle room. The law was the law. Period.
Civil law developed in much the manner. It was the law. Period. In the early 20th Century courts began to realize that a strict application of black letter law in some situations produced an injustice, so there developed separate courts of equity. It dates back to the times of old when litigants would go to the King and complain of harsh or inflexible rules of common law which prevented “justice” from prevailing.
In American law, men sat as judges of law and strictly applied the law. Then, they donned a chancellor’s hat that sported a tussle and sat as chancellors in equity where they provided equitable decisions that provided more fair outcomes than would happen with the strict application of the law.
The Old Testament is a book about strict application of the law, but the New Testament is different. As civil courts of law moved to a more fair process called equity, God sent Jesus and the process was called grace.
While we all sin and deserve a strict application of the law, our relationship with Christ gives us forgiveness and grace. While we should be held accountable and pay the penalty, He paid the penalty for us.
Aren’t you glad that you don’t have to pay the price and penalty for everything you have ever done wrong? Jesus paid the penalty for you, so you don’t have to.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Texas Governor Greg Abbott was paralyzed from the waist down in 1984 when an oak tree fell on him as he was jogging in Houston. He has since made overcoming adversity one of the themes of his public life.
For instance, he recently tweeted a video of a young man in a wheelchair climbing an indoor wall with the caption, “Never quit. Never give up. Overcome any challenge.” A person replied, “So great to see, but if I ever end up in a wheelchair, I’m just ending it.” The governor responded: “That’s what I thought before I ended up in a wheelchair. I’ve done more AFTER the accident that left me paralyzed than before that accident. With God all things are possible.”
Someone then tweeted back to the governor: “God put you in a wheelchair, Greg.” Gov. Abbott replied, “God didn’t cause the accident that left me paralyzed, but He did help me persevere over that enormous challenge.”
He added: “I’m a testament that the glory of God is revealed by a young man’s back being broken in half and still rising up to be Governor of Texas. With God all is possible.”
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A life lesson from Monopoly
Well-known pastor John Ortberg learned to play the game Monopoly from his grandmother. He says of her, “She was a lovely woman, but she was the most ruthless Monopoly player I have ever known in my life.” She would defeat John every time they played.
Then came the summer when John played the game every day with a friend in the neighborhood. He learned how to acquire property ruthlessly. By the end of the summer, he was ready to play his grandmother again.
This time, he says, “I watched her give her last dollar and quit in utter defeat.” Then she taught him something he’s not forgotten, a statement that became the title of one of his best-selling books: “Now it all goes back in the box.”
What will you put in the “box” one day?
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Alabama Sheriff Nick Smith is in trouble. At least with some folks. In their eyes, he’s engaged in an egregious activity that should be censured. “What has sheriff Smith done” you wonder. How has he violated his oath of office?
Recently in the face of two local tragedies, Sheriff Smith has asked the community to pray.
The First Amendment of the Constitution provides freedom of religion. It was not intended to eradicate religion and purge religious speech from the public square. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals once ruled, “The purpose behind the Establishment Clause was not to create “a wall of separation between church and state.”
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When signing documents in 2020 do not abbreviate the year as simply 20. For example, 3/14/20 with the addition of two numbers in the same color ink could be altered to say 3/14/2018. In some date sensitive documents that could be crucial. Don’t take a chance.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Here’s to life and embracing each day with gratitude, passion, compassion, empathy, integrity, love, kindness, faith and purpose! Richard Gonzmart
Perhaps we are not required to be grateful for hard times, just to find a way to be grateful in them. Jim Denison
Belief and knowledge aren’t the same thing. Belief is more powerful. Elle Sheen’s Diary
Religious folks are much happier. Regular church attendees commit fewer crimes, are in better health, live longer, make more money, drop out of high school less frequently, and finish college more frequently than those who don’t attend church at all. J.D. Vance
We know how to organize warfare, but do we know how to act when confronted with peace? Jacques Cousteau
Has it ever occurred to you that nothing occurs to God? Ken Whitten
There is no greater act of kindness than when you do something for a person in need who does not know you and no one else will know that you did it…other than God of course! Dwight Short
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. Anne Lamott