Thursday, May 31, 2012Scripture Reading—Romans 8:1-8
There is often a great chasm between knowing what is right and doing it. In Romans 7, Paul wrestles with the reality that on one hand, the law of Moses laid out in the ten commandments revealed to people God’s desires for human conduct, but on the other hand did not in itself have the power to produce that conduct. Knowing what God required was a good thing; doing what God required was something else altogether. You can understand the elements involved in playing a great piece of music—performing that piece is a whole other matter. Paul said that the law was good. It was necessary. But it wasn’t enough. Knowing what God wanted, Paul said, led him to a place of inward struggle and conflict. If anyone was ever zealous for doing what he thought God wanted, it was Paul. But, he always felt he was falling short. “Wretched man that I am!” he said. The central truth of the gospel Paul discovered was that God’s love for him did not depend on his performance of the requirements of the law. Reflecting back on all God had done for the world in Christ, Paul came to the conclusion that regardless of our goodness or lack of it, God has chosen to look at us in a whole new way. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” The good news is that regardless of what you think of yourself, or what others think of you, or what you think of God, God has decided that you are not condemned, but accepted, forgiven, and loved---no matter what!
Thought for the day: How would my life be different if I really believed that, in Christ, God has accepted me as I am?
Prayer: O God, help us to realize that in Christ, regardless of our mistakes, sins, and failures, we are not condemned by you, but accepted, forgiven, and loved. Amen.