Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 1, 2018
Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11
When I came to Christ, not unlike many people when they are born again, my life was messy. I was hurting badly from a break up with a long-time boyfriend; I had moved out of my childhood home to go to college without a dime in my pocket, and I had no idea what I would do for a profession.
It seemed that in every major life area—financially, relationally, and vocationally—I was struggling. I knew my life was a mess and I needed help. And, I knew the only One who could save me from that mess was Jesus. He was literally the anchor for my sinking ship. So, when the waves of life threatened to destroy me and He called my name, I reached out to Him without fighting.
In those early days, I knew I had nothing to offer Him that would make me worthy of His love and I knew I was saved entirely by faith because He was good, not because I was.
But I have to admit that after 30 years of walking with Him, there have been times when I have forgotten that the inadequacy that I started with is still true of me today. I may know more about Jesus and the Bible than I did when I started my faith journey, but I am still as unworthy as ever. I recently read Romans 1:17a which reminded me of this truth.
“The righteousness of God is revealed faith to faith.”
Like many people, it was easy for me to start with faith, knowing I couldn’t earn righteousness or His love. But continuing by faith has sometimes been a different story. After I had been walking with him for many years, there have been times when I have believed the lie that I had to earn His love or be “good enough” to keep His love. But the truth is that I started with grace; I will end in grace. The righteousness that Christ has given me was an undeserved gift then, and it will forever be an undeserved gift even after my dying breath.
Believing anything less creates fear in the human heart: fear of losing His love, fear of His punishment and wrath, fear of not measuring up which can make anyone feel defeated, or angry, or depressed. Why work to please a God you can’t please? Why try to love a mean, ogre God?
A better option is to believe God is love (1 John 4:8), that there is no darkness in Him (1 John 1:5), and the grace and unconditional love that He gave to you in the beginning—even if your life was a mess like mine—is the same unconditional love that He extends to you now (Ephesians 2:8). You don’t have to earn His love or stave off His wrath. All of His love was given on the cross and His wrath was satisfied.
That’s magnificent news!
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people” (Titus 2:11).
PrayerLord, I praise you that the grace and faith I started with were enough, and are still enough today. I don’t have to earn your love or avoid your wrath by being good. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
ApplicationTell the Lord thank you for His grace that will never end and that you will never have to earn His love.
Related ReadingRomans 3:20-24; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 11:6
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