Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Day of Praise

Thur, 06/07/18, "Day of Praise" 

Philippians 3:8-9 - "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith." 

On one short vacation recently (like every vacation) where we ate too much fast food, I was reminded of a time we were at Taco Bell, and this guy came in and presented this big sheet of coupons to the cashier. She calmly said to the guy, "You can't use those here." He replied, "But they sent 'em to me in the mail." She kindly said, "Hold on," as she went to get a manager. The manager came out, looked at the coupons, and kindly said, "I'm sorry, sir, you can't use those here." The man's now getting a little excited and says, "I don't understand. They sent these to me in the mail. Why can't I use them here?" The manager calmly replies, "I'm sorry, sir, but this is Taco Bell, and these coupons are for Steak 'n Shake next door." The man realizes how silly he's been looking, starts to humbly but enjoyably belly laugh, and walks out the door. 

Presenting Steak 'n Shake coupons at Taco Bell is what St. Paul is writing about in today's verses. We can present our own works and deeds and merits and goodness to God all day long, as if they're supposed to get us something in exchange. But God can only say, "I'm sorry, sir, you can't use those here." And we can argue all day how we've come to have these good deeds, and they should therefore count for something. But the only thing that's going to get us anything with God is the righteousness of Christ, which becomes ours through faith in Jesus. 

Oh, sure, it's very important for us to do good works and strive for excellence. But we do these things, not to get something from God, but instead we do them to thank God that we already have everything from God through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Thank you, Jesus! 

Praise God! 

Pastor Chris 
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson

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