23 May 2017
Reading: 2 Chronicles 6-7; Psalm 135; Romans 4
This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father—that’s reading the story backward. He is our faith father. (Romans 4:16 MSG)
It’s easy to read this verse. It’s relatively easy to believe what it says as I read it. The challenging part is to live day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute in the light of its truth.
In my world it’s not so much about Jews and Gentiles—Jews thinking they were made right with God by their racial heritage and religious rituals. In my world it’s more about Christians like me forgetting that there’s nothing we ever have done or ever can do to earn God’s approval and bring us into relationship with him.
It’s still and simply true that it all depends on the gift (pure gift!) God has given, the sacrifice Jesus has made, and my simply embracing what he has done. And that’s how it always will be!
To the end of my life, I will never be more accepted as God’s child than I was at the moment I put my faith in his pure gift for the very first time. I will never be more accepted than I am right now. I will never be more accepted than someone who is believing the Good News and simply trusting in God and his pure gift at this very moment. It’s pure gift! It depends entirely on trusting God and his promise, then embracing him and what he does!
God loves you and me not because you and I are good, but because he is good! He loves us not because we are as we should be, because we will never be as we should be. It’s pure gift!
Father, I believe and embrace the truth that it all depends entirely on you. I receive your love, acceptance, and forgiveness as pure gift. I purpose to live today out of that trust and rejoice that the ground my friends and I stand on is entirely level. Amen.