Short and to the Point

Coming up short isn’t my favorite pastime.  Finding out that I’m not good enough is either a major motivator or total downer. 

Scripture doesn’t mince words about our shortcomings.

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”  Romans 3:10-12

Not content to leave it as a summary, God gives grim details.

“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”  “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” Romans 3:13-14

Got it.  We are lying trolls and accusatory shills on the Internet.  We are protestors in the streets.  We write op-eds to slice and dice our fellow man.  We write comments on Twitter that speak death and cursing upon our brothers and sisters in the family of man.  Hello 2021. Epic fail.  Bad news.

But wait, there’s more. Verse 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.”

We commit arson, homicide, and road-rage; we teach anti-peace in the forms of Critical Race Theory, angry protests, and defunding peacekeepers; and for those of us not actually committing these acts in the “royal we” of inclusion, yeah, we do it in other ways.  Our thoughts, our failures to stand up for others, our looking the other way out of fear of retribution, or not pursuing criminal prosecution when our evidence would assist with accountability.

What’s the root cause of all this unrest, illegality, and deception?  Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Short and to the point.  Bad news can be that way.

Scripture continues, however, with good news.  Far from its being a total downer or motivation to try harder, the good news is a third alternative. Once we acknowledge (and repent) who we are and what we have done, and simply ask for forgiveness… Jesus paid it all.

It doesn’t matter what your skin color is, or what Zip code outlines your residence, or what church denomination you attend, or what is your net worth.  We’re all silenced in our shame, held to account by God Almighty. We all have opportunities to admit our sin and to receive good news (the righteousness of Christ by faith).

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.  Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.  But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans. 3:19-24)

In a world that seems to be freefalling, this is good news indeed.  We can’t do anything about our sin nature, but God did it for us in Christ Jesus.

Thank You, Lord, for salvation made possible by the shed blood of Christ.  Thank You that You did this for a world of sinners, when we could not earn it or buy it.  Your grace is immeasurable.  My gratitude will never approach what You deserve for this act of love, Lord Jesus.  Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on June 30, 2021

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