Reading: Romans 5:1-11
Verse 1: “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Today in Romans 5 Paul writes of the peace and joy that we come to know as we walk with Jesus Christ. This journey begins as God goes to work in our hearts. As we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are justified or made right with God. This, however, is not a once-and-done process. We need to be made right again and again because by nature we are sinful. But we are justified by grace – the unending, undeserved free gift of God that loves us back into right relationship again and again. As God pours out love through the Holy Spirit, filling our hearts, we receive joy upon joy. Being loved so deeply and unconditionally, we experience reconciliation with God every time we repent and turn back to God. What a merciful and loving and graceful God we serve!
Now, if only we lived with this joy and hope and confidence all of the time. If we could only set our eyes on Christ and walk steadily and without falter each moment of each day. We can and do at times. But I find myself glancing sideways now and then as a bright shiny object or a scary dangerous threat nears me. If it draws enough of my attention, my gaze can linger. Maybe you too take a glance now and then. Maybe once in a while your gaze lingers. And sometimes I look back over my shoulder, looking to see who is catching up or sneaking up. I do this when I fall into the doing or achieving mode. Maybe you fall to these temptations once in a while too. If only we could fix our eyes…
When we falter, when our gaze is drawn off the path that leads to life abundant, may we always remember that while we were in that sinful state, Christ died for us. He died so that we can always be reconciled. Thanks be to God.
Prayer: Lord God, my life is so much better when my eyes and heart are focused on you. Even in the trials, there is hope and joy and peace in you. Train me more and more to focus on your love and grace and mercy – day by day helping me to walk more and more with Christ. Amen.