For Sunday, February 14, 2016
First Sunday in Lent
We all know intellectually that we’re saved by grace through faith. So why then do we so often get verklempt in our attempts to perform for God? The internal tape says, “I have to go to church. I have to go to Bible study. I have to serve. I have to pray. I have to, I have to, I have to …” Actually, we don’t!
“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart” (Rom. 10:8). Israel made the mistake of trying to earn salvation through performance. Paul says earlier in this chapter, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge… Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (vv. 2, 4).
Have you believed? Have you confessed Christ as Lord. Then you have God’s righteousness. There is no DO in the gospel, only DONE. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (v. 13).
Stop performing in a vain attempt to earn God’s approval. Embrace the freedom we have to be God’s people given the righteousness we have by faith. We live in a world starving for grace and grace needs to come alive first within ourselves. Only then can we extend it to others.
Where is the grace of God leading you this week to experience freedom?
(For me it was calling Birch Creek Music Camp to offer my services as a jazz drummer for this summer’s camp in Door County, WI).
A great resource for Lent
My good friend Jim Van Eerden has put together a fantastic multimedia lectionary called The Pilgrim Year. The section on Lent could be a great resource for helping you to embrace the freedom of God’s grace leading up to Easter. I highly recommend it!
(Disclaimer: this paragraph is sponsored content. For a 5% discount use budget code PASSPORT).
Thanks for your post. I agree that we should stop trying to earn God’s approval. God is merciful and always loves you. Yes you should do what he asks, but try not to make it a chore. If you approach everything spiritual with an I have to attitude you won’t get as much out of it. It is hard to do, and there are still some things that I do because I’m supposed to do them, but I am working toward doing everything because I want to and not because I have to.
Thank you for reading and commenting! We are all works in progress but the love of God transforms all who welcome Him into their souls.