Saturday 09 April 2016

Bible Book:

“Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.” (vv. 4-5)

Romans 4:1-8 Saturday 9 April 2016

Psalm: Psalm 68:24-35


Wages are interesting. I've been lucky enough to have alwaysenjoyed the jobs I've had. But I reflect on pay and even here myreflections are largely positive. I remember working as a paperboy. We got paid for each paper we delivered. The shop owner passedon to us what he charged each customer for the delivery. He madehis money from the sale of the papers. All fair and square. Onewinter the weather was exceptionally hard. Snow covered the groundand the shop owner delivered the papers himself. We couldn't getout on our bikes. Then at the end of the week we still got paid!I've never forgotten that. It made me all the more grateful. Ithink all of us worked harder after that. We really felt we were init together and valued.

A few years later, when my dad was disabled with multiplesclerosis, he worked keeping cliff-top coastal paths clear ofvegetation. Most days he got to work pushing his bike and using itto lean on. Some days just getting there exhausted him. His bossknew that on those days he couldn't really work: "Sit in your hut,Ted. We'll say you're cleaning your tools." Dad still got paid. Itgave him more than money. It kept his dignity. I've never been ableto thank that boss, but I want to say, "God bless him."

Paul uses wages as an illustration more than once in hisletters. People understand that. We understand that. What catchesus here is the comparison. If you work you expect wages. If youdon't, then in the cut and thrust of the world usually, you getnothing. Perhaps my dad and I were just lucky? But Paul would say,'in the world, yes, but God has other values'. It seems that to bemade righteous, to be saved, whatever language you like to use, toreceive the totally awe-inspiring, completely wonderful, boundlesslove of God requires no work at all. It's priceless, its ours -now. Just trust. It is so!

To Ponder

  • Have you ever received something for nothing? If so, how did itmake you feel? If not, how would you feel if it happened?
  • If God really loves us all without us doing a thing to earn it,how does that make you feel? How do you want to respond?
  • How does being loved by God make you behave differently toothers, to those who pay you, to those you pay?
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