Note: We’ve been having internet problems and I just discovered that this didn’t post on the appropriate day – when I was checking on why today’s (August 5) didn’t post.
Psalm 57-59 Romans 4
“When people work, their pay is not given as a gift, but as something earned. But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him, who makes even evil people right in his sight. Then God accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him.” (Romans 4:4-5 NCV)
Have you ever gotten that “every-two-week-gift” from your boss? You know, the one that comes because you go to your place of employment and work for eight hours a day? If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking that I’m a bit crazy. That isn’t a gift, that’s a paycheck and I worked hard to earn that money! You’re right: that pay isn’t a gift, it’s what you’ve earned. Paul notes that while you earn your pay, you can’t earn a relationship with God. We start our relationship with God when we trust Him in faith. Here’s the kicker – even people who are evil can turn to Him in faith and be made right with Him. My understanding of the nature of God is that His Spirit will work in people who are evil to conform them to the image of Christ, just as He does for all people. The key point, though, is that we must have faith to become righteous in God’s eyes.
Trying to establish a relationship with God is like the old song “Sixteen Tons.” We try to do the right things to get and maintain a relationship with God, only to see our sins drag us down even further. We may load our sixteen tons of coal, so to speak, and all we have to show for our efforts is that we’re “another day older and deeper in debt.” Our hope for heaven, our hope for an eternal relationship with God doesn’t rest on our own works and goodness; our hope comes from the grace of God that comes to us by faith. One amazing thing about God’s love and grace is that it will never go bankrupt. God’s grace never goes on holiday. God’s love never shuts down for a vacation. The grace of God never discriminates – He makes His grace available to anyone who would turn to Him, even evil people. If it bothers you that evil people who turn to God won’t get what they deserve, realize that you won’t get what you deserve either. If we got what we deserved from God, we’d keep going deeper and deeper into debt. Thanks be to God for His grace which delivers us from the bondage of the law and allows us to walk with Him in joy and freedom. Choose this day to follow the path of grace and experience God’s love in amazing ways.
Lord, there’s no way I could earn Your friendship or Your love. Thank You for giving Your grace and opening the door to the joy of being Your child.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved