This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19, NRSV.
Any person who willfully breaks one commandment does not, in spirit and truth, keep any of them. “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).
It is not the greatness of the act of disobedience that constitutes sin, but the fact of variance from God’s expressed will in the least particular; for this shows that there is yet communion between the soul and sin. The heart is divided in its service. There is a virtual denial of God, a rebellion against the laws of His government.
Were men and women free to depart from the Lord’s requirements and to set up a standard of duty for themselves, there would be a variety of standards to suit different minds and the government would be taken out of the Lord’s hands. The will of human beings would be made supreme, and the high and holy will of God–His purpose of love toward His creatures–would be dishonored, disrespected.
Whenever created beings choose their own way, they place themselves in controversy with God. They will have no place in the kingdom of heaven, for they are at war with the very principles of heaven. In disregarding the will of God, they are placing themselves on the side of Satan, the enemy of God and humanity. Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, shall we live. We cannot disregard one word, however trifling it may seem to us, and be safe. There is not a commandment of the law that is not for the good and happiness of men and women, both in this life and in the life to come. In obedience to God’s law, His children are surrounded as with a hedge and kept from the evil. Those who break down this divinely erected barrier at one point have destroyed its power to protect them; for they have opened a way by which the enemy can enter to waste and ruin.
By venturing to disregard the will of God upon one point, our first parents opened the floodgates of woe upon the world. And every individual who follows their example will reap a similar result. The love of God underlies every precept of His law, and those who depart from the commandment are working their own unhappiness and ruin.–Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 51, 52.
This devotional is taken from Be Like Jesus by Ellen G. White.