Daily Devotional: Tuesday, 10 January 2017

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  • January 11, 2017
Daily Devotional: Tuesday, 10 January 2017

By Grace alone: our Opportunity


21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Rom. 3: 21-24 NIV).

Additional passage: 1 Corinthians 15: 10

  “If you don’t put the effort in, you won’t achieve anything!” This is something we hear again and again our whole lives; be it from parents at home, the strict maths teacher at school, at work… Sometimes it acts as a little nudge and sometimes it feels like a massive shove. It is something I even here myself saying too: “I’ve only got one chance left to prove myself… if I just try a little harder…” Even when I do put more effort in, I often notice how quickly I reach my limits. I wanted to meet a friend and say sorry for an argument we had had recently, but something popped into my head that was much more important all of a sudden. I pushed the plan of reconciliation to the back of my mind, although I so desperately wanted it before. Someone who can be honest with themselves quickly notices where their limits, their faults and failures lie. Life, however, is much more than just getting the best marks in an exam, being a success at work, or even just having a better-than-average life. Leading a life that is satisfactory in the eyes of God – that is what really counts. That is what makes me realise just how pointless my efforts are in trying to make myself worthy before Him. The Apostle Paul states that he has worked harder than anyone else, and rightly so (see 1 Cor. 15: 10). He does not however let it get to his head. He stays humble, in the full knowledge that he would never have managed it without God’s grace. Goethe coined a phrase, roughly translated as: “those who arduously exerts themselves, they are the ones we can save”. Just like Paul, Martin Luther also discovered that this motto just was not true. Luther consequently went on to turn western society’s “principle of efficiency” on its head. The Church Reformation was founded on the principle of Grace, instead of on this “principle” of our own achievements or accomplishments. We are passive. It is God who is the active doer. When I get to the end of my tether and think that I have run out of all alternatives – that is where God steps in. He is the best and only person who can give me another chance. Through his Son’s suffering and death on the cross, God has blessed me with his grace. If I did not have grace, I would have no perspective in my life, or in my death. But with God’s gift of grace, I can be who I should be: God’s beloved child.   Prayer focus (Psalms 103) Thank you:
  • that God has given to me and all those around me the gift of grace and reconciliation
  • I want to share God’s gift of grace with other people, but I do not do it often enough
  • I am continually losing my sense of self-worth, attempting to rediscover it from within and through my own efforts. This is not the answer. Help us, oh graceful God and father, to come back to you every single day and to rely on your grace alone!
  • for those in jobs who try to define their self-worth through their own accomplishments (CEOs, celebrities…)
  • for those who need protection, grace and care, but who only receive rejection and loneliness (refugees, children in difficult family situations)
  • for people in leading positions during war conflicts, that they strive for reconciliation

Writen by: Marieluise Bierbaum, Bremen

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