Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish
nation. What did he discover about being
made right with God? If his good deeds
had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast
about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed
God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Romans 4:1-3 (NLT)
I got one of those very personalcomputer-generated
letters from my bank a few weeks ago; they were changing my bank account access
number, my PIN. AGAIN!
It seems security has become such a major issue these days the
financial institutions have stopped suggesting you change your secret
number every other month - now they change it and you have to use their
number, like it or not!
What does that have to do with Abraham's faith...or mine, or
Abraham didn't trust in anything he possessed, or anything he had
done or was born-into for his eternal security; Abraham relied entirely on
God's kindness and mercy.
There's no PIN number for faith.
That is so different than the way I approach the ATM. As I put in my PIN number, my attitude
is: that's MY money in there,
machine; I earned it and you hand it over right now!
Some of us in the church seem to think that kind of attitude is
acceptable when approaching God. We imagine because we said the right prayer,
attended church regularly and gone through the liturgy and rituals, that we're
entitled to this blessing or that answer to prayer.
We should always remember that faith is entirely dependent on the
mercy and grace of our God through Jesus Christ.
But, that said, we should also remember that we serve a God of ultimate
mercy and grace, Who is always willing to forgive and bless a humble and
penitent heart. This means we must be
ready to lay-aside any claims we think we might have earned to eternal life,
and rely entirely (like Abraham) on the UNmerited
favor of God.
For You Today
If God, like your local bank, wanted you to choose a new PIN, what
would it be?
May I suggest that if your answer to God is anything other
than "grace" your faith would be bankrupt!