So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

Earning Points

12/7/2013           Sal,              about 45
Most people don’t say it like this, but the idea that we have to earn “points” with God is very much a part of the thinking of a large percentage of people, whether or not they are involved in church.  During a conversation at a Walmart yesterday with a construction worker named Sal, about 45, I asked if he would get to heaven by following the Ten Commandments.  “No, I have to earn extra points with God.  It’s like a basketball game, and I’ve fallen behind and have to catch up.  That means I have to do good things like be a good son and take care of my mother.  It should take me about 20 years to make up for everything I’ve done.”  No wonder religion has such a bad connotation for many people - to think we are going through life with some sort of heavenly scoreboard hanging over our head!  It drives some to drink or drug as an escape, others to search for alternative belief systems, but at least for most it helps maintain a relatively ordered society as they try to be “good enough”.  I believe most people are very comfortable with this points system, mainly because they figure they are indeed good enough, but they vastly underestimate the seriousness of their sin and overestimate the value of the good we ought to do anyway with the resources God gives us.  This points system is part of what Paul calls the “Law of Sin and Death” (Rom.8).  It is bad news.  You sin, you die.  Maybe not right away, but you end up separated and hiding from God like Adam and Eve tried to do when they hid naked behind some trees.  Like them, eventually we also die but in the meantime we go through life not just with a scoreboard but death itself hanging over our heads.  But the good news is there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus!  He came to abolish the law of sin and death.   He came to proclaim good news to the poor and freedom for the prisoners, to give recovery of sight for the blind and set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4)  And He calls us to join him!  Twenty minutes later, Sal said he had some more thinking to do, but oh the gratitude on his face when he shook my hand and thanked me for talking to him!   “We can laugh and sing and clap our hands and dance to the music for the war is won!  Christ is risen!  Now is the time to celebrate our journey home as we heal the wounded and free those imprisoned in the battle…”  - (me, from my journal, 1983)

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