An undeserved gift

Date: Wednesday, February 5

ScriptureRomans 9:30-33

Verse: Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. (Romans 9:32)

For many people, Sunday’s Super Bowl was not just about a football game, it was also about the commercials. Some of those commercials will live in our memories for quite some time. Today, when I read our passage, the tagline of an ad from 25 years ago came to mind, “Smith Barney: They make money the old fashioned way. They earn it.” If you are old enough to remember this commercial, you probably can hear the voice of John Houseman, a distinguished actor from respected shows (think of someone maybe from Downtown Abbey), saying “earn” with English-accented emphasis. It is amazing the power of a good ad.

Today’s passage is a simple reminder that no matter how hard we, and the others in our lives, might try, we can never make ourselves right on our own. Unlike Smith Barney and their money, we will never earn the righteousness of God. Trying to earn it, Paul writes in today’s passage, is ill-advised because it becomes a stumbling block. 

As we looked at on Monday, many of us feel unworthy of being chosen and used by God because we haven’t earned it, but our opinion of ourselves is invalid. On Tuesday we noted how sometimes we can write others off as being used by God because they haven’t earned it, but “who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God?” We all fall short, which is why we need to move away from this idea of having earned something from God, and instead simply receive it as a gift. 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the gift of righteousness you made possible for me. Amen. 

Action: What makes you feel that you or someone else is “unworthy”? Break that line of thought whenever you start down that path. 

Respond: What was your favorite ad from the Super Bowl or in the past? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. 
If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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