The Universal Law

There is a shopping mall in Nashua, New Hampshire; a mall that I’m familiar with, as I’ve been there many times. The way this mall was constructed is interesting; the entire building is in New Hampshire, but it sits so close to the state line that if you walk out of the south end, immediately you’re in Massachusetts. Many people from Massachusetts shop at that mall, because there is no sales tax in New Hampshire.

Some years ago, a tiny part of that mall was across the state line; Massachusetts said that if any part of it was within the state’s border, the entire building would be subject to Massachusetts tax. So, a little sliver of the JC Penney building was removed, and Massachusetts lost any potential revenue altogether.

New Hampshire and Massachusetts are two very different states; many more wealthy people live in Massachusetts, while New Hampshire is seen more as a place that people go to retire. Massachusetts has suburbs everywhere, and New Hampshire is much more rural and heavily forested.

Aside from cultural differences, each state is different politically, and has different laws; in New Hampshire, they just elected a Republican Governor; Massachusetts, on the other hand, just elected a Democrat. In New Hampshire, you don’t have to wear a seatbelt; in Massachusetts (wisely), you do. This is what makes all 50 states different from each other; different cultures and different laws. The laws of New York, for instance, don’t affect the laws here in Virginia. But, if I travel to New York, I’m expected to follow the laws there; the laws of Virginia no longer apply to me as long as I’m not here. The same is true with other countries: for example, I can only fly my drone up 120 meters above ground level (with exceptions) here in the United States, but if I were to go to France, I could fly up to 150 meters, and the law here in America would have no bearing on me while I’m overseas.

But there is a Law that is applicable to believers everywhere, no matter which city, state, or country they’re in; the Law of Christ is never irrelevant. Wherever they are on earth, believers are to love the LORD, and their neighbor. There are no loopholes and no lawyers that can get us off. God’s laws are universal and they cannot be changed; there are no exceptions.

Paul tells the Galatians that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control; against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). These nine attributes are legal everywhere on earth—and for Christians, they’re demanded.

Imagine how much better the world would be even right now if everyone on earth obeyed God’s laws of love for him and neighbor. It will become a reality one day soon, when Jesus rules the world in truth and righteousness and peace; in that day, the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3). He will not grow faint or be discouraged until justice is established in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law (Isaiah 42:4). Only then will there be peace on earth, and goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14).

In the meantime, fear God and keep his commandments; this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13). He has shown us what is good and what he requires of us: to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8). Go and do likewise!

Grace and peace,


Pheasant Lane Mall; photo taken directly over the state line. New Hampshire is to the left, Massachusetts on the right

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