Scripture: 1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5, Psalm 99, Romans 3

Romans 3:21-23  But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence.

Observation/application

I was struck again by the clarity of Paul’s statement on how we are put right with God: “It has nothing to do with the law…God put people right thought their faith in Jesus Christ.”

We live and work in meritocracies.  People are rewarded for merit, for achievement—and rightly so.  I want to hire the best person for the job.  A coach starts the best players.  Those with proven performance and outstanding results are often promoted and rewarded.

But when it comes to being accepted by God, it has nothing to do with our merit or efforts.  It is about Christ’s merit and efforts.  We trust Him to do what we could never do.

Religion is all about what we do for God to earn His approval.  Christianity is about what God has done for us in Christ.  DO vs. DONE!  Religion is about your merit; Christianity is about Jesus’ merit.

Does this mean we do nothing?  Of course not.  It simply means that we do nothing to win God’s approval, but then we happily do what He wants because we are already approved.  It seems crazy, but getting off the  “merit treadmill” actually results in living better!  I always perform better when I want to than when I have to!

Prayer: Lord, thanks again for doing what I could never do.  I trust You completely!