Thursday, January 5, 2012
The time of year has come upon us to make resolutions that we aim to keep all year long. The year of 2012 has just arrived and people are busy starting things up again, but at the same time reflecting on the past year and anticipating what the next will bring. As I have been doing just that, I have come up with my own New Year's Resolution.
This year, I'm going to stop.
As humans, we always desire to give back in return for anything given to us. We're extremely bad at accepting gifts without being able to give in return. That is exactly why we have a hard time accepting God's gracious salvation as a gift-- something that does not have a price that we must pay.
Romans 3:21 "But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-- the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"
Scripture clearly states that Christ finished everything in the work of redemption on the Cross. However, our human nature tells us we have to contribute to this gift in order for it to truly be our's. We try to be "good" and do our best...to try harder and push forward. We try to be a better Christian, a better witness, a better all around person. We try and try and try! But do we ever get anywhere?
The law is exhaustive. It demands perfection in every aspect of one's life--thought, word, and deed. Without God, we live under the law. We are expected to adhere to every rule and regulation in the Word of God, we are to be holy (set apart, different) as God is holy. But we cannot. It is absolutely impossible to fulfill even one aspect of the law in our own strength, and even if you could manage to keep the law in all areas except one, it will have still been broken. "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it."-- James 2:10.
BUT! The most glorious word in the world. BUT. It signifies that there is more, that the last statement is not the end result. BUT. God has poured out His grace upon us, lavished us in His love, and bought us with the price of His very own blood. BUT! The story isn't finished. He has given us such a glorious, gracious FREE gift that is our very own. We do not have to work to deserve it or even work to keep it. The gift of salvation is our very own. Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and King, we are emerged in His love.
So this year, I'm going to stop. I'm going to stop trying to achieve my salvation. I'm going to "cease striving, and know that [He is] God."--Psalm 46:10.