To be taught any subject requires openness.

Openness to new things. To not being an expert. To change.

Today God brings a word worth your openness.

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The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. It won’t be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant with me even though I was their husband, declares the Lord. No, this is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my Instructions within them and engrave them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. They will no longer need to teach each other to say, “Know the Lord!” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord; for I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sins.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

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Some people teach that we should treat the Bible as a rule book. While there are plenty of valuable rules to follow in Scripture,  this view also poses some difficulties. For example, it's sometimes challenging to know what rules apply to us and our communities today.

Another difficulty: rules are easy to break! We can become discouraged when we realize we've broken the rules, or we can end up judging others who we think have broken the rules. These are especially tempting reactions when we separate God's rules from God's forgiveness or when we only think about divine instruction coming from outside or above us.

Today, we hear about different kind of instructions – those that God will put on people's hearts. God's instruction rests within us, transforming us for the sake of relationship with God. Remember the holiness that is within you, and listen up.

Megan McDermott

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God, you know all that is engraved on my heart – both the joys and the pains. Please engrave on my heart all I need to know and be to love others like you love them. Amen.

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Understanding God's instructions can be complicated. Do not be so overwhelmed that you cannot act.

Love of God and others — these are the heart of God's instructions.

Follow love today.

Megan McDermott

Megan McDermott is a second-year master's student at Yale Divinity School, where she is preparing for ministry in the Episcopal Church. In 2014, she graduated from Susquehanna University with a degree in Creative Writing and Religious Studies. Pennsylvania is her home state.

Reflections on the Way: I Surrender All

Ken Medema

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