Today's memory verse:
"Those people who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God." -- Romans 8:8
Whoa! Since we ALL sin...everyone of us messes up a least a little every day...NONE of us can please God! So...if I can't please God no matter how hard I try, why even try?
Leviticus 19:2 - God says "Be holy because I am holy."
God set the standard...perfection. He can't stand less than perfection.
Paul says in Romans 3:10-12, there is no one who does good, not one. NO ONE CAN LIVE UP TO GOD'S STANDARD OF PERFECTION! Again, I say, why even try??? It seems pretty hopeless, doesn't it? I might as well live the way I want and not worry about pleasing God, because I can NEVER please God!
I look at God's laws and commands and I WANT to follow them, but I fail a little every day.
Romans 3:19-20 - "We know that the law's commands are for those who have the law. This stops all excuses and brings the whole world under God's judgement, because no one can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin."
The law makes us aware of how we mess up.
Well, since he created us, God knows us very well. He KNOWS we can't live up to his standard, so he came up with a plan to set us free from the hopelessness. Jesus. Jesus came to earth in the form of a baby to be more like you. After his death and resurrection, He returned to Heaven to help you be more like Him! By believing in Jesus, you are given back the hope that your sin took away.
Do you know people who think you have to follow certain practices and rules to get to heaven? I do. That was one reason my dad didn't like churches...they're kind of like private, exclusive clubs. You're "in" if you do what we do, and you are "OUT" if you don't. Yes, God gives us his laws and standards that we are to live by, and I believe that if we follow God's leadings and guidance, we will live happier and less complicated lives. But, according to the verses I listed above, and many others like them, there is only one qualification God is looking for on our resumes of life...that we belong to Christ. That we have accepted that Christ is the most important part of God's plan. He opens that promise up to EVERY PERSON ON THIS EARTH! No one is excluded because they don't follow the law...even those who follow the law won't make it to heaven by just following the law!
How many people have been turned off or away from churches because of the "follow the law or you're going to hell" mentality? Do you think that is God's plan?
I am grateful that I believe in God's grace! That grace gives me hope and the ability to keep trying even when I fail! It also gives me the ability to show grace to others as well.