Friday, July 22 – Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Have you ever watched a child held up by an adult to cross the monkey bars at the park? They often have a smile from ear to ear, excited to do this impossible feat. But really, it is not something they are doing at all. It is the adult who is holding them up, guiding them, and navigating them from bar to bar. Sometimes, we tend to think about our faith like the child thinks they’re succeeding at the monkey bars on their own. We look at our faith as something we can accomplish for God—accumulating knowledge of Him, doing good things in His name, and pouring into others.
We forget that our faith isn’t about what we can accomplish for God but is founded on what God accomplishes through us! Going back to our analogy, the real joy for the child isn’t in the accomplishment on the monkey bars (which isn’t theirs to begin with) but in being with the parent who is, by their power, holding the child up. Our joy in faith comes from being with God who is guiding us and equipping us.
God is our source of life, strength, and hope. We can’t bring others to faith without His work, and we can’t grow in our faith based on our works. When we try to share or grow out of obligation, we will only be met by guilt and shame if we feel like we have missed the mark. But in Christ, when we share the joy He has given us with others, we can truly stand unashamed and unwavering no matter the response we receive. We know God accomplishes the work, not us.
- What is the difference between trying to accomplish things for God and asking God to accomplish things through us?
- Why are we tempted to take credit for ourselves when God is the only One who has the power that brings salvation?
- Pray and repent for the areas in your life where you are trying to accomplish things for God or taking credit for yourself.