Devotion Text: Psalm 31
Are you a “do-it-yourself-er?”
I’m not. I live in an apartment and never really acquired the life skills necessary to accomplish really cool DIY projects. I have, however, gotten really great at knowing when to call experts and which experts to call when things go awry. Still, I appreciate the DIY culture and often look upon those talented individuals with great respect and awe.
Sadly, however, that DIY attitude doesn’t just apply to leaky pipes but spills into our lives as a whole.
In Psalm 31, the Lord reminds us (through David) that our lives here on this earth are not on our own. We do not control our destiny and we cannot come to our own aid. Theologians have often called this concept the opinio legis of mankind–this idea that we can work out our own salvation. The law says “do,” so we must be able to do? Right? Wrong. One day spent under the demands of God’s law should make it abundantly clear we cannot do anything ourselves.
The great news is that God has sent his Son to do all good things on our behalf. He lived the perfect life we could not and died an innocent death on our behalf. This God who did immeasurably more than we could ask for continues to give us every perfect gift. He who saved us from our sin also protects us from all kinds of evil. He holds us in the palm of his hand–not to crush us, but to uplift us.
Praise be to the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me…to you…to all.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, thank you for everything you have done for me. You created me and all things. You have redeemed me from my own evil sin. You continue to intercede for my behalf and bless me with more than I could ever need or ask. For all this you deserve nothing by my praise. Forgive me for the times I ignore your help and seek to earn salvation on my own or ignore your truth for my own foolish lies or the lies of this world. Be with me Lord, my times are in your hands. Amen.
Devotion Text: Ephesians 2:4-10
We all like to “fix” things.
The DIY culture we live in tells us that anything can be fixed with a little elbow grease or, if you lack life skills, with a little bit of extra money. Any problem or inconvenience can be solved with those two things–effort or money–and when things aren’t THAT easy, we get frustrated and throw more effort or more money at it.
So, when confronted with the biggest problem in the world, sin, we often think we can fix it ourselves.
We delude ourselves into thinking we’re better than we actually are. We try to ignore the rot and depravity in our own lives or compare it to others hoping that slightly better is good enough. We buy self-help books to repair the damages of sin or plunge into the depths of all the toys we can buy, hoping to soothe our guilt by forgetting our problems.
But, we can’t fix sin. No amount of “good works” or “do-it-yourself” attitude can help us. So God chose a different way to save us. We have to do nothing.
When Christ said, “It is finished,” he meant the payment for salvation was entirely complete. He chose us so we don’t have to choose him. He fully complied with God’s law because we couldn’t. He died so we don’t have to.
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, thank you for your gracious gift of salvation. Forgive me for all of the times I foolishly think my own good works could help me. Strengthen my faith that I may always depend on you for all I need. Amen.