Our sin is no surprise to God and yet He still sent Jesus to die for us knowing most people would reject Him and His sacrifice. In Romans 5:8 Paul says, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. It was never about what we could provide back to God, it was always about His love for us and what He was willing to do for us. There is nothing we need to do to be saved; there are no prerequisites.
In Romans 4:8 Paul quotes David in saying, “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” David, while characterized as a man after God’s own heart was not without sin. In fact, he had a few big ones including adultery and murder. But that did not exclude him from becoming everything God intended him to be. By God’s grace our sin is not counted against us. When we think we cannot be used by God because of our imperfection, let us all be reminded that God’s grace has purified us and we are able to be fully used by Him.
The middle part of Romans 3:4 stood out to me today, Let God be true, and every man a liar. Truth is always truth no matter what we may think about it. The rest of the world is welcome to disagree with what God has to say, but that doesn’t make the truth any less true.
God’s grace, along with our acceptance of His grace, is sufficient. When we seek to serve Him in every way, we are blessed. We may not feel the blessing at times, but our reward is clear through the gift of eternal life. In Romans 2:6-8 Paul clearly states 6 God will give to each person according to what he has done. 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. Paul is clearly comparing the outcomes of the believer versus the non-believer. Those who believe and accept Christ’s gift of eternal life through His sacrifice will be blessed according to that grace. But those who choose to reject Christ, and in turn seek selfish endeavors, will be condemned.
Today we being one of my favorite books of the Bible. It is also one of the most powerful books written by Paul, aimed at the Christians in Rome, who at this point he had not met yet. This book (letter) was intended to be an introduction of Paul to the Romans in preparation for his visit.
In this first chapter, Paul sets the stage for where mankind stands in relationship to God. The interesting part is that mankind has not changed that much in over 2,000 years. God has continually made His message clear. In Romans 1:20 Paul says, For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. When people reject Christ, it is without excuse. God has given ample opportunity and information to either accept God’s grace through faith or reject it. In 2,000 years, the process and plan remain the same, as does the opportunity.
The world’s definition of worth is different from God’s definition. In Acts 20:24 Paul says, However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Being obedient to God’s calling on our lives and accomplishing the purpose for which we were created is all that matters. All else is of little to no significance.
We should all be encouragers of each other’s faith. As Paul closes out his second letter to the Corinthian church he does just that. In 2 Corinthians 13:9 Paul says, We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection. Believers should be caring and encouraging people who work to bring each other up. Our walk with Christ should not be a competition, but one where we work together to draw each other closer to Him.
As humans, we love to complicate everything. We like to make things harder than they need to be. In the beginning of 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul says something very powerful, But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Nothing can be simpler than knowing what this passage implies… God already knows we are imperfect and weak; this is not a surprise to him. He created us and saw first hand what we are capable of since the beginning of time when Adam and Eve first sinned. God’s expectation of us is not perfection, but acknowledgement that we need Him. The harder we work towards perfection, the further it pushes us from God. It is not until we seek His perfect grace that we finally realize all we really need is Him. More importantly, God doesn’t need or want our good works, He wants our humility and a real relationship with us; nothing more.
This was a great video! TD Canadian Trust, turned their ATM (Automated Teller Machine) into an Automated Thanking Machine. What a special way to brighten someone’s day.
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