What Makes a Person Righteous?

Today’s reading is Romans 2. Being good does not make a person righteous, yet that is exactly how we often live. We weigh out our actions, dividing them into categories of “good” and “bad,” concluding that, because our good actions outweigh the bad, we are essentially good people. Further, we justify our bad actions, claiming that our motivations were right, even if our actions weren’t. Paul cuts through that self-righteousness, reminding his Jewish readers that, even if they are devout, religious, law-abiding Jews, people are not righteous because of their outward works,… Read More

Clutter

The University of Texas invited Admiral William McRaven to speak to the graduates at the 2014 commencement ceremony. Expectations were high that the decorated military officer would inspire the graduates. Surprisingly, his nearly twenty minute speech could be summarized in three words: “make your bed.” He said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” He profoundly asserted that changing the world begins with daily disciplines. The speech and subsequent YouTube video went viral, and, while it is yet to be seen if bedmakers will, in fact,… Read More

Worthy to Suffer

Persecution is part of being a follower of Jesus. He was “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53). As His followers, we not only know the “power of His resurrection,” but also the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). Stephen was a respected man in his community, filled with the Holy Spirit, wise, and one through whom miracles and wonders were manifest. Yet, the truth he spoke was fiercely rejected, resulting in his arrest and eventual death by stoning. Truth confronts. Many people reject truth because they don’t want to face their… Read More

God Does Not Forsake Us When We Fail

David was a hard-working shepherd. David was a passionate worshipper. David was a respected leader. However, David also committed adultery, had Uriah killed, and displeased the Lord on several occasions. You would think that these sinful actions would have forfeited any promise for a significant role in God’s kingdom. If your reputation is ruined, is your legacy doomed? David’s road was certainly not an easy one. Sin indeed demands payment and comes with consequences. David faced heartache in both his family and his kingdom. However, God brought him through, eventually redeeming David’s… Read More

I Have Good News and Bad News

The word “gospel” means “good news.” But the good news is preceded by bad news. For a person to receive the free salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, he or she must first face the sobering reality of their own sinfulness, wickedness, and brokenness. If a person is never convinced (convicted) of their sin, they will never cry out for a Savior. That’s why the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to first convince people of their sin (that’s the bad news), then convince them of righteousness through Jesus (that’s… Read More