Feb 17, 2012

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Romans 4

Happy Friday!

So, do y'all love Sam or what? She's so incredible, and God is using her in a BIG way. 

Sam is also one of our SHINE prayer intercessors. She's been praying for all of YOU!  Good to know, isn't it.

Okay, moving on to our reading in Romans.

Is anyone else out there a rule follower? I know, from Leslie's testimony, that she is.

Anyone else? Raise your hand. (no, not really.)

I cannot help but to be this way. My momma is the exact same way. 

My Daddy and my Sister....um, not so much. (they are rule-breakers....that's why they are so much fun to be around!) 

If their is a line, I stand in it. If there is a procedure, I follow it. I don't really know any other way to be. I'm just programmed this way. 

Paul speaks to people like me in Romans. He tells them that although they know the rules, or the law of the Old Testament, their hearts are far from God.

They are "holy" on the outside but not on the inside.

They were "rule followers" with their religion.

Ouch.

Paul was warning them that their hearts had no faith, but only laws to abide by. Don't we sometimes fall into this category?

We get wrapped up in rules and laws and legalism, and before you know it we have completely forgotten about the Grace of God. The sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross was to free us from this bondage of legalism. 

I can imagine the enemy (Satan) gets really thrilled when we buy into this false sense of security. When we think that if we read the right books, do the right things, and say the right words--we can come really close to being "holy" enough.

The testimonies of Leslie and Sam this week tie in perfectly to the lesson of God's Grace. I am sure that the Roman Church back in the day would not "approve" of  their testimonies. (or most of ours)

God sent His Son Jesus, to do away with these rules. This "Pius" act of living does not please God and it never will.

Yes, we have to be obedient to God's law in His Word. However, obedience comes when we put our Faith in Jesus--not a bunch of rules and laws. We cannot be obedient to a God that we have not put our faith and trust in.....right?

So, if we follow the religious "rules" and do not accept the gift of Salvation that He offers to us...we perish. 

We perish because of our own self-righteousness. We think that if we are "good enough" or "holy enough" or "knowledgeable enough", we don't need the gift of His grace and salvation. Or we think Jesus' death on the cross just wasn't quite enough.

 We think we can earn it on our own. Through our good works.

No.

Salvation is a gift, given freely to any and all who choose to accept it. 

It's that simple.

We get wrapped up and tangled up with theories and laws and "religion" and miss the biggest part...JESUS. He died on the cross to save us from all of this, and yet we act like martyrs and miss the whole boat.

I know that I am guilty of not feeling worthy and not feeling quite good enough. I look at my life and think it just doesn't quite measure up enough to please the Lord.

Who am I to even judge myself? Isn't that a little self-righteous on my part? It's like I am telling Jesus that His death on the cross wasn't quite enough to cleanse this filthy girl. 

God's word says in our reading today that "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification". Romans 4:25.

Cha-ching!

So, if we believe in Him, and have faith in Jesus, we are justified. 

That's a whole lot of freedom if you ask me.

I don't have to be a slave to theories, laws, and perfection anymore.. I can rest in the fact that His Grace is sufficient for me. Just the way I am. 

Rest in that, girls. It's a beautiful thing.

Your challenge today:

Remember the note cards that we made on Sunday? "Give it all to me. Love, Jesus"...

I want you to make one or two for a friend or friend(s). Pray about who to give them to. Maybe a family member? A neighbor, a co-worker?

Mail it to them, hand it to them, stick it in their mailbox, whatever works for you.

Ask the Lord to show you who needs this reminder daily. I cannot even tell you how many times that I have looked at my little cards around my house and felt the weight of the world lift off of my shoulders. It was never meant for me to carry it anyway. 

Someone in your life needs rest. Bless them with this message from Jesus, won't you?


resting in Him and Him alone,


jill