Scripture: Romans 5:21 CEB
"The result is that grace will rule through God’s righteousness, leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, just as sin ruled in death.”
On Ash Wednesday we seek to repent of our sins and believe the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a matter of trust. In whom do we place our trust. We continue throughout the 40 days of Lent to repent and believe the Gospel. We also move to reflection about who rules our life. If we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ are we then allowing Jesus to rule. This is what Paul is asking the church in Rome to consider. He asks them to fully believe in the Good News that Jesus proclaimed. Paul writes that if they will do this the result is that grace will rule through God’s righteousness, leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, just as sin ruled in death. The next step after repenting and believing in the Gospel is to allow God’s grace and righteousness to rule in our life.
Before entering pastoral ministry, I worked in several different environments. One of the common realities I experienced in these environments was expressed trust versus real trust. Most of the people I worked with would express their trust in management, or their supervisor. They would tell you that they liked them and that they believed they knew what they were doing. However, when it came to really trusting those in authority over them they did not have real trust. I know this because the management would tell them to do things a certain way, but they would go and do it their way. They expressed their trust publicly, but had no real trust. It always became a problem for both management and the coworker.
Isn’t this the way we often live out our faith in Jesus? We are usually very good at expressing our belief and trust in Jesus Christ. We may wear a cross, put Christian symbols in our home, or place a bumper sticker on our car. We may even gather the courage to say something to a coworker or friend about our faith. The real question we need to wrestle with is, “Does grace rule my life through God’s righteousness?” If grace rules our life through our relationship with Jesus Christ then we will not just express trust in Jesus, we will really place all of our trust in Jesus. There is a big difference between expressed trust and real trust.
Today, will you seek to allow God’s grace and righteousness to rule? Pray throughout the day today to seek God’s grace for every moment. Let God’s grace rule in your interactions with your spouse and kids. Allow God’s grace to rule as you drive to and from work. Seek God’s grace to rule in all of your assignments and conversations at work. Just as Ash Wednesday is the day to repent and believe the Gospel, today is the day to allow grace to rule through God’s righteousness.
Prayer: Gracious and loving God, you are the source of all Good News. Because of your great love for me you gave your one and only Son, Jesus. Today help me to not only believe that Jesus is who He said He is, but empower me to let your grace rule in my life. May I see every moment of this day as an opportunity for your grace to rule in my thoughts, my words, and my actions. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.