“Get the credit you deserve”
The fast-talking salesman in the radio commercial made his pitch to those who ‘needed’ a car but who had a bad credit history. He closed with the line, “get the credit you deserve.” A loan is not a right, but there is a sense that we are entitled to one anyway. A person can have made terrible decisions, overspending in the past, and still he ‘deserves’ to have a financial company trust him with its money. She may have a low-paying job or have had her credit score wrecked by some disastrous set of circumstances, yet she ‘deserves’ a loan. What a world we live in. A good credit score is not a right. It is earned by a combination of hard work and good fiscal management. (Yes, I know, fortunate circumstances are needed, too.)
I wonder how many of us come to the Lord with the same mindset? “Lord, give me the blessings I deserve!” Oh, I doubt most of us would be so crass as to pray in exactly those terms, but many of us do have a sense that He owes us. He doesn’t. As painful as it may be to accept, the Scripture says that we are “by nature objects of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:3, NIV) The Psalm says “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5, NIV) (By the way, that is not saying his mother was sinful for having sex!) The truth is that we are born in sin, our very nature corrupt, our inevitable bent is rebellion, our destiny is destruction. We deserve nothing. That is not the END of the story, however. I love the divine conjunction that offsets the terrible indictment. “ButGod is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NLT) I deserved nothing, HE gave me everything. This is why we worship Him, why we love Him.
Grace is meaningless to the person who thinks he deserves something. Ask any parent of an adolescent what she finds among the most frustrating things of parenting and she will talk about the sense of entitlement that is so prevalent in our age.
· That ride to a friend’s house at the busiest time of day? You owe it to me.
· The latest video game? I deserve it.
· A car? Well, of course, you’re buying me, aren’t you? And, make sure it’s not too old!
Such an attitude produces little in the way of appreciation.
Are we coming to God with this same attitude? If so, singing of His grace will be of little meaning. Our prayers will show little adoration (or submission, for that matter) because like spoiled kids, we believe He is blessed just to have us around!
I once knew little of His grace. Raised in a Christian home, my parents protected me from major failures in my early life. A combination of fear and respect kept me from drug use, drunkenness, or sleeping with my girlfriend! Like the Pharisees whose self-righteousness earned such scorn from Jesus, I was adept at religious games. I knew the right words, said the creed, and looked great from the outside. Only with the dawn of adulthood did I have to face up to the ugliness of my heart’s depravity. No, I wasn’t an adulterer or a thief. I was proud; critical, rebellious towards authority, and confident in my own goodness. That’s a combination that makes for one loveless person! And, I was. I looked down on those poor souls who “just couldn’t get it together.” But as my sinfulness became obvious, my life collapsed. In that season of life the God of Grace became my true Savior. No wonder that every time I read the letter to the Ephesians which speaks of His loving grace, I find myself in tears. They are not born of regret, but of wonder, of worship, of amazement that He would love a sinner such as I!
Are you trying to claim credit with Him that you think you deserve? Think again! Read this passage again. I pray that it will cause you to worship in humility and with great joy.
“ And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”(Ephesians 1:12-14, NIV)
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” (Ephesians 2:6-8, NIV) “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10-12, NIV)
10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find
Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Jonas Myrin | Matt Redman
© 2011 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI License # 810055