Wednesday, February 6, 2019

"Brownie Points"

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10

At the end of the day do you ever look back over the day and take "inventory" of your "progress" and "failures"? Do you judge yourself spiritually by the number of "hits" and "misses" you had? For example we usually judge ourselves this way: I spent too much time watching television- but I went to prayer meeting; I over ate- but I read my Bible for two hours; I lost my temper- but I helped buy groceries for a hungry family. We judge our spiritual progress by the "works" that we do. For some reason we think that if we get enough "brownie points" (good deeds) it will out weigh the areas we didn't get right or failed in. We tend to think that the good deeds will make up for the bad deeds and the times we yielded to the Spirit will make up for the times we yielded to the flesh.

That is not true! It doesn't work that way. Remember the rich young ruler, his life was comprised of 60% "good" and 40% "bad". He kept six of the commandments and broke the other four. Our verse this morning tells us that if we keep all the law (over 600 of them) and yet break one, we are guilty of all. It's not about doing enough "good" to take care of the "bad" we do, it's not about doing enough "right" to cancel out the "wrong", it's not about "hitting the mark" enough times that it covers up the times we "miss it". It's about transformation- being changed and letting the Lord change us. It's not about just the things we do, it's about becoming more and more like Jesus- I am decreasing and He is increasing. It's about living a life that is pleasing to Him- that's what we "judge" ourselves by- not the number of "good" to out weigh the "bad".

What takes care of the "bad" is repentance- asking for forgiveness and letting the grace of God change you to be more like Jesus and please Him in all you do. If you are judging your spiritual progress by "brownie points" you will get a false picture of where you are. You judge yourself by Jesus and His word. He is the measuring stick by which everything is judged.

Have a great day. We judge our spiritual progress by whether we are being changed so that our lives are pleasing to Him, not by the number of "brownie points" we collect.

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