January 31, Romans 4: 4-5

If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.

Romans 4: 4-5 MSG – A verse of the day from the Bible presented in Eugene Peterson’s contemporary version called The Message. Accompanied by a personal reflection below.

Here’s hoping you are not trying to earn your way to God.  Do a good job, yes, in all that you do, but don’t think even for a second that all those good works are payment for earning God’s graces.  They are not.  They are a beautiful and satisfactory manifestation of all the God-given gifts that you are endowed with; and how fulfilling it is to see them put to good use!  To get in God’s good books, however, it is not how much we do, or how well we do however much we do, that impresses God.  If anything, acknowledging that you cannot do everything on your own, and need God on your side to help you — or just do it for you! — is actually even more impressive to God.  You are placing your trust in God, and that is what pleases God.