Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. 1 Corinthians 1:26
Have you ever seen pro athletes from rival teams being interviewed before a big game? They come on camera all pumped, talking up their team—and trashing the other guys. “We have the strongest defense in the nation,” they brag. “There’s no way they’re getting past us today.”
Bragging is part of the game. But it’s pointless. No matter what athletes say and no matter how sure they are of stomping the other team, the game is still won or lost on the field.
It’s easy to laugh at sports figures who try to impress others with their triumphs. But Christians often fall into the trap of relying on all the good things we’ve done to win God’s favor.
Take a vote: Which of these great deeds are good enough to impress God—and maybe get someone into heaven?
• I got straight A’s on all my Sunday school report cards.
• I played the accordion in church every week for fifty years.
• I was a missionary. Check out the hydroelectric plant I built for Bosnia.
• Oh yeah? Look at my Swahili translation of the Old Testament.
• Every Sunday I walked ten elderly ladies to church through a blizzard when the snow was up to my throat. And it was uphill both ways.
Those words sound as ridiculous as athletes before a game, don’t they? God doesn’t accept us because of great things we do. We don’t have to jump through any hoops to earn his love. Why? Because Jesus is the One who already won our acceptance with God. He was the one-and-only adequate sacrifice for our sins. That’s why the Scriptures say, “The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done” (1 Corinthians 1:31).
We could never have earned our way into God’s family, but he accepted us anyway. And someday when we’re together in heaven, we will all proclaim that we are there because of the grace of God. He provided Jesus Christ for our salvation. And God will get all the glory.
TALK: How does it make you feel to know that you don’t have to jump through hoops to earn God’s love?
PRAY: God, thanks for sending your Son so we can spend eternity with you.
ACT: Tell a friend the Good News that God is already impressed with us because of what Jesus did.