Thursday, February 10, 2011

Measuring Up

"As the Scriptures say,

“No one is righteous—
not even one...

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

He declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus."
Romans 3:10,21-25,26 NLT

I can't tell you how often I hear people say that they wonder if they deserve God's love, acceptance, and forgiveness. "Do I measure up?" I have asked this before. The answer is a simple; "yes" and "no."

On our own merits we never will measure up to the standard of righteousness that God requires. We spend a lot of time and energy doing all sorts of things to make us acceptable to God, and forget grace. This either leads to self-righteousness and false security, or a sense of failure and hopelessness. On our own we are without hope.

The good news is that Christ Jesus met God's standard for righteousness and paid the penalty for our sins. He made us right with God. When we believe the good news, repent of our sins, and confess Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive the grace of God. This grace brings us forgiveness and salvation. Strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

The challenge for many of us is that we trust in God's saving grace, but forget about His sustaining grace. We must constantly walk in the grace of God, avoiding self dependence and self condemnation.

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 NIV

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