Bible Reading: Galatians 2
Growing up, card games were one of my top leisure/after exam fun activities. It was in the league of monopoly, table soccer and… well, dancing with pants in the rain.
If you ever did it, you’ll remember that a pack of cards comes with this special card called the ‘joker’. It was the most important card because whoever had the card in his deck had the ultimate advantage. There’s the confident, almost evil smile that you get on your face when your opponent doesn’t know what’s coming: I have got the trump card!
The Joker is the trump card.
Grace is the believer’s trump card against the endless and fruitless struggle of man’s attempt to fulfil the law and to make himself right with God!
We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it — and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good. Galatians 2:16 MSG
It is God’s grace towards us that brought salvation to us. It is by God’s gift of grace that we are justified. To be justified means to be set in a right position with God where our sins are totally cleansed away from us. In fact, we are rendered just as if we never sinned.
When we put our faith in Jesus, we are justified! On our own we couldn’t be set right with God, not even the best versions of us.
I have lost count of how many times I cried, swore, and promised myself that I won’t sin again- only to find myself in the places I did not want to be; but thanks be to God for His grace that brought me justification!
Back to our game of cards- how interesting would it be for you to have the joker in your deck but not know that you do, and end up struggling through the game, and even losing?
That’s exactly what it’s like when as believers we do not take advantage of our joker – grace. We live defeated and do not enjoy the full extent of the victory over sin and its consequences that grace gives us.
Paul emphasizes in verse 21 of our reading today that our justification is a statement of God’s grace and an empowerment to live Christ-honouring lives:
”I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:21
We must embrace this knowledge firmly and take advantage of this grace available to us.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age… Titus 2: 11 NKJV
As we go about life, we must never cease to be grateful for and deeply aware of God’s grace that brings us justification and the empowerment to live for Him in our everyday life.
Will you check your deck today and play the grace card?
Something to Pray
I do not set aside the grace of God… Galatians 2:21
Pray that today, you will walk in the full weight of the grace of God given for you
Ini leads the Follow-Up Team at Sycamore