the law of God we cannot keep

from the the law of God we cannot keep reading plan

Exodus 20:1-17, Romans 8:1-4, Matthew 5:17

BY Diana Stone

Text: Exodus 20:1-17, Romans 8:1-4, Matthew 5:17

The Law of God That We In Our Own Strength Cannot Keep


We all know on a very rational level that we’re never going to achieve perfection in this life. Yet that doesn’t stop us from striving for it.

As Christians, our example of perfection is Christ. We study His words, we pray for wisdom and discernment, our hearts yearn for godliness. Every day we fall. Every day we bite the fruit and deny Christ.

God knows this, so he sent Jesus. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2) His life, his perfection, covers all our sins.

So if we are unable to keep the laws our Lord set before us, and if Christ’s life covers that for us anyway, why would we try at all?

For some, it’s a checklist. A way to show others how strong we are on our own. “I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never cheated on my husband, I pray every single day.” This line of thinking, the “good works” mentality, negates the grace of God. It tricks us into thinking that we didn’t need Christ’s sacrifice of His life because we can be perfect on our own.

Our desire to be more like Christ should come from love and gratitude. Christ fulfilled the law because He loved us so very much. When you love someone, you want to honor them. You desire to make them proud, to try your best. We strive for obedience and ask for forgiveness in our shortcomings because we love our Father and His Son.

God gave us the ultimate gift of love by sending His Son to take on on human form and be put to death just for our sins. Let us prepare our hearts and give thanks to Him in this season of hope and remembrance.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)



Lord, as we prepare for the different parts of this holiday season, let us stop to remember your gift to us. We know that every day we fall, yet you still cover us with your grace. Thank you for letting the law, through Christ, become an act of love to you instead of a list of rules we have to obey.

Advent Action

Take time today to write and send a handwritten, anonymous note to someone you know, using grace-filled encouragement or words of comfort.


For an added layer of worship and study, we chose a beloved Christmas song for each day of our Advent plan. We invite you to listen to In The Bleak Midwinter today as we dwell on the truth of God’s word together.

Post Comments (28)

28 thoughts on "the law of God we cannot keep"

  1. ed sheeran don t says:

    Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thank you Nevertheless I’m experiencing concern with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting equivalent rss downside? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  2. Kirsten says:

    A quote from the famous Timothy Keller…
    "To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of sour self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us."
    God loved us SO much that He sent Jesus to die for OUR sins.
    O Praise to the one who loves us so much.

  3. AnnaLee says:

    Praise the Father and the Son for doing immeasurably more and loving immeasurably more than we ever could. Papa, I love you; draw me nearer to thee. I need to find rest in your wings.
    Ladies, give me prayer as I enter these next 2 weeks of schooling to finish off the semester- it'll no doubt be very stressful, and I want to keep Christ the top priority during this time. Also, I'm fighting my flesh on a lot of issues with others, so pray that He'd kill that flesh, that law, and make the spirit ever more alive in me during this season. Papa, we need you!

  4. Kooks says:

    What beautiful promise in this reading for today! I kept finding myself writing THANK YOU in the margins of my Bible. And in the Exodus passage writing, "Eek! Thank you for Jesus." I am grateful my children and their children don't have to pay for my sins (vs.5)…holy moly, that would suck. And talk about coveting our neighbors things- GUILTY! I gave up on seeking perfection a long time ago. The chick leading worship, abstaining until marriage, going to church faithfully, writing verses on notecards (any one hear me out there?)…..those things provided me a foundation but by no means have enabled me to be "perfect." Too much pressure. Too much failure. Instead I hear His whisper saying, "Love for me. Hold others for me. Comfort on my behalf. LOVE THE ONES WHO DO NOT KNOW ME- with my genuine nature." And while it is not perfect, through and by His grace it is enough.

    Thank You God for providing your precious Son on my behalf- I wouldn't have made the cut!

  5. Carolynmimi says:

    We were iced in this morning with church services across our area cancelled for safety reasons. Encouraged to worship at home, this devotional really spoke to me. I wrote notes to members of our congregation reminding them of the Unity of the Body of Christ whether together or separate physically WE are ONE by the power of the Holy Spirit. I chose to do these notes and to sign them after the cautions some of you raised, but I for one would open an anonymous handwritten note and would be thrilled to find encouraging words inside. I do believe that anonymous gifts be it objects or words can bless so that the giver and the gifted can treasure them in their hearts without any expectations or restrictions. BUT that is just me, so I chose to give full disclosure.

  6. Sarah says:

    Great reminder today to move once again from striving to abiding, through confession of my failings and gratitude for His grace that takes me exactly as I am. Thanks for your study, Diana!

  7. jesusgirl71 says:

    Sisters, you don't know how much I needed to hear this today! I have recently had to cut ties with my current church, and I was feeling like god was mad at me and it is my fault. it really isn't. I won't go into it, but there are situations that we were going through that just were not healthy for us. I started reading Joyce Meyer's book today "god is Not Mad at You" because I feel it is something I need right now. So thanks for this devotion! Sisters, pray for me. With all my hornmonal issues and my asthma, my immune system is weaker than some, and there has been a virus going around the office. My throat is very raw and I am afraid I might have it now. praying it is just allergies or that it leaves me quickly. I know it's a small thing, but would appreciate prayers.

    1. Kooks says:

      Praying for you friend!

    2. AnnaLee says:

      You are not alone, as I've gone through the exact same thing. It hurts, and it was confusing at times; I was (and still sometimes am) falsely blaming myself for a lot of what went on socially with others, as well as struggling with agreeing to a lot of their church practices (which in the end, were not biblical and not where God wanted me at all). In general, I often succumb to self-condemnation and the critiques of others when it comes to my faith, so, when hearing of this, my heart went out to you. Though it's hard for me to believe for myself- I'm working on it- Christ LOVES us with a love that is bigger than us and everything we go through. Be wooed, comforted, and made calm by the love of the father, sister. He's right there with us. He will show us the way.
      PS- I guess I can count this as my encouragement letter, but I doubt I'll end here. :)
      Be blessed, friend! You are loved!

      1. jesusgirl71 says:

        thanks so much. Needed to see this this morning as the self-condemnation was starting again.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I just wanted to say that I really loved today scripture and reflection. You ladies (writers and commenters) have become a part of my daily routine and a huge tool in helping me understand His word, his wants, and his plan for me. I have been following the SRT community since August, have never commented but now wanted to say thank you for all the work you do in producing these plans for us. Thank you!

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