Award Ceremony or Rescue Mission

Written on 04/29/2022
Christian Dunn

Verse: Colossians 2:13-15

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

This is a great meditative exercise for this morning. What have you done to earn God's love and favor? What have you done to earn God's blessing in your life? Is it because you are a good person? That tends to be our culture's ubiquitous answer to this question of who does God love and favor: people who are good. "I'm a good person. I do good things. I treat people with respect. I'm better than most people."

But this thinking entirely misses so much of what God has done for us. It sets us up for a lifetime of performance. Of trying to earn God's love and favor. It sets us up for disappointment and shame because in the end, none of us is our "best self" all the time. Or to borrow biblical language, "we all fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). (Sidenote: the standard isn't just "being good" is it? It's the "glory of God." Kind of reframes the question anyway doesn't it?)

And this is the big thought for this morning. Christ didn't wait till we had our act together, or save us because he was impressed with our good works. He rescued us. This wasn't an award ceremony for our goodness, it was a rescue mission from our brokenness. When we were "dead in [our] sins" he "made [us] alive with Christ." Just as Jesus rose from the dead, we are being raised from the "deadness" of our sins. 

Paul says it another way in Ephesians 2:4-5, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."

This is the good news, that you don't have to be good enough to earn God's love, favor, and blessing in your life. There is not a performance review or entrance exam. He loves you. Period. Full stop. It is out of his love and grace that we learn to live a life of "goodness" by his Spirit, but as a father delights in his children, your Heavenly Father delights in you, right now, regardless of performance. 

Today I wonder if you know how deeply God loves you? I wonder if you know, truly know, that he delights in you. You bring him joy. Not your deeds or your performance, but who you are - the fact that you exist - makes his heart soar. And because of this great love, even in our lowest moments, Jesus is moving towards us in self-sacrificial love. Praise God!

Help me to know and experience your love and delight. me more often. Break me from a performance-based relationship with you.