Day 15 – What If You’re Not Good Enough?

Day 15

Read

Romans 3:23-25

Reflect

Good people go to heaven.

That seems to be the prevailing view, doesn’t it? Just live a good life, try not to commit a terrible crime, and hopefully God will be merciful and you will get into heaven.

Or maybe you want to believe that pretty much everyone makes it to heaven. Naturally, people like Hitler would be excluded. And maybe a few others would be excluded, but otherwise everyone gets in.

Somehow.

Question. What if that’s not actually the standard?

Kinda like studying hard for English for nights on end only to realize that your next exam is actually math. English isn’t going to help you much except to say the words “Oh this really stinks” when you realize what’s happening.

Consider this:

The Bible itself never says that good works get us into heaven.

If you asked ten people how good you have to be, you might get 10 different answers, which doesn’t help anyone set a standard.

Your views keep changing. What you thought was ‘good enough’ when you were a teenager is not what you think ‘good enough’ is today – so which standard was right?

Jesus didn’t seem to care whether people were good or not. He said prostitutes and criminals would be in heaven with him.

Today, take some time to read Romans 3: 23-25. There IS a different standard (we’ll look at it in detail tomorrow).

What would change in your life if you finally realized you didn’t have to be good in order to earn God’s favour?

Respond

Belong – Because you can belong before you believe.
Jesus didn’t invite you to spend time with him because you were good. He invited you to spend time with him because he loves you. Think about that.

Believe – Because those who belong often start to believe.
If you think you have to clean up your act a little more before you believe, think again. Your good works have nothing to do with your salvation. (And that’s good news.)

Become – Because those who believe can become someone new.
People don’t change in order for God to love them; we change because God loves us. What might change in your life today because of God’s deep love for you?

Dear God, help me to appreciate how radical the message of salvation through Jesus is. Help me to realize that it’s not about how good I am, but about how good you are. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

– by Carey Nieuwhof

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2 Comments

  1. Christopher says, April 15, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I know I don’t HAVE to be good to earn His favor, but I WANT to be good and do good with the understanding that it’ll never be more than filthy rags to Him. Perhaps those around me are benefitted by the work that is done through me? Am i then literally becoming an instrument that demonstrates His love for others, forsaking any and all personal desires?
    corrollary, I really like that Sunday afternoon nap during a televised golf match…should I forgo that to be more for the benefit of others?

  2. Yvonne says, April 16, 2013 at 8:48 am

    My new mantra is, “God loves me, right here, right now”. I constantly feel like a failure as a Christian. It seems baked into me to try to be good and then to feel depressed when I am not. The idea of unconditional love is so hard to grasp! I know about it intellectually but it doesn’t seem to sink easily to my heart where I really believe it to be true. I think most of my life I have been trying to get God to love me or at least notice that I exist. He must roll His eyeballs at me some days since both of those things are already accomplished. I suspect that if I can really grasp God’s love for me, I will relax and enjoy more. The pressure to be perfect will fall by the wayside and the fear of failing yet again will be replaced with genuine worship for a God who loves me despite my tendency to err. Why is it so hard for ideas to move from my head to my heart?

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