Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 1, 2016
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. . . Romans 3:23-24
There are times in most of our lives when we don’t want to go backward. We don’t want to move back to the city where we used to live because it will make us feel as if we haven’t made progress. We don’t want to go back to our old job because it will make us feel as if all of the skills we learned since then were a waste. We don’t want to go back to doing what we used to do, because going backward makes us feel as if we haven’t gone forward. Going backward feels like failure.
There are times, however, we may need to go back to the beginning of our relationship with Jesus. We need to go back to the place where we first started with Him, which for most of us was the place of desperation. We were desperate because we knew we couldn’t save ourselves. We were desperate because we knew we couldn’t change our hurts, hang ups, and addictions on our own. We were desperate because we knew our old ways of trying to earn God’s favor weren’t working. We knew we needed His deliverance. But then as the Lord liberated and healed us, we exchanged desperation for being self-sufficient, so we tried to earn favor with God through being good enough. We tried to do the Christian life on our own without empowerment from the Holy Spirit. This is why we sometimes need to go back to the beginning to the place of desperation where we first started with the Lord.
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. . .” (Isaiah 64:6).
Have you noticed the world doesn’t like desperation? Desperation is seen as weakness. But God knows that only when we embrace our desperation can we embrace His liberating, life-giving grace.
In his book Holiness by Grace, Bryan Chapell writes, “Those who face the hopelessness of their spiritual condition apart from God’s mercy are nearer to experiencing his grace than those who pride themselves on their goodness. . . To experience God’s grace, I must readily and repeatedly confess my own hopeless condition. What makes me willing to do this is the knowledge that it is my desperation that inclines God’s heart toward my own.”
What a magnificent message! Isn’t it liberating to know that our desperation draws us closer to our loving Savior?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Prayer: Lord, trying to do life on my own is tiring, but admitting I need your help is life-giving. Thank you so much that I can come to you with all my sin and failures and you will give me your grace in exchange. Amen.
Application: Will you tell the Lord about the ways in which you are desperate so you can experience His grace in greater measure?
Related Readings: Romans 7:18-24; Isaiah 53:6; Ephesians 2:8-9
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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