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Trying So Hard

Trying So Hard

28 May 2009

Scripture:

30 Well then, what shall we say about these things? Just this: The Gentiles have been made right with God by faith, even though they were not seeking him. 31 But the Jews, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. 32 Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law and being good instead of by depending on faith. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. (Romans 9:30-32 NLT)

For the religious Jews, life was about trying to get right with God and stay right with God. If they kept God’s law, they felt pride in themselves and looked down on anyone who wasn’t keeping the law like they were. If they weren’t keeping the law, they either tried for “righteousness by association” with Abraham, or they tried to find ways to excuse their guilty conscience.

Now there were churches like Rome, made up both Jewish and Gentile believers. To all of them, Paul carefully explained how we get right and stay right with God. “It’s by grace through faith, dummy!”

8 God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT)

It’s a gift of love and grace! It’s given by grace (God’s part) and received through faith (our part) and it’s not by doing good works (trying so hard to be right with God!)

• It’s too simple! Why shouldn’t it be simple? Jesus said children would get it.
• It’s too easy! Easy for us, not easy for Jesus who gave his life to make it possible.
• It’s too cheap! It’s not cheap – Jesus paid the ultimate price of his life and then gives it to us as a gift.

Bottom line for us: Stop trying so hard to get right with God and believe and receive what he has already done.

Prayer:

Father, forgive me when I keep trying to get right with you instead of simply receiving the gift of your forgiveness and your gift of life and your gift of right relationship with you. I believe, I receive, I thank you with all my heart.

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