Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. (James 2:12)

KAY HAD NO IDEA how much she would enjoy watching her grandson, Ted, lead his high school tennis team to the state finals. Ted had only picked up the game a little over a year before, and he had made varsity through hard work and hustle. “There are a lot of kids who learn great technique from years of lessons,” Coach Huddleston had remarked to Kay after an early season match, “but no one can teach the kind of heart and passion Ted shows on the court every day. Technique will come, but an athlete needs some exceptional inner motivation to succeed at the next level. You can count on some schools with serious tennis programs to recognize how special Ted is.”

Today’s Scripture reminded the early church that they were no longer governed by the outer details, rules, and regulations that dictated the lives of religious Jews and Pharisees in the first century. James certainly reminded the church that positive behavior was evidence of sound faith based in the inner motivation the Holy Spirit brought into a Christian’s life.

The law that gives freedom allows each of us to speak and act in alignment with the new creation we have become through Jesus Christ—a far more powerful motivation than any external law or threat of punishment.

Describe the inner motivation Christ gives you.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves preaching, teaching, music, coffee, and Nebraska football.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.