Friday, July 3, 2009


"You deserve a break today."

"You deserve brighter eyes."

"The change you deserve."

"You deserve better."

"You deserve..."--Ad campaigns love that phrase. It speaks to where people are at, but the thought behind it is far removed from the truth. My how narcissitic we have become! What innate quality or virtue makes any of us deserving of all these things the advertisers offer? Why do I deserve a break today?

In his book, "Humility: True Greatness," C. J. Mahaney speaks of how he responds to the typical greeting, "How are you doing?" Instead of the typical response, "fine," he says, "Better than I deserve." That, of course, leads to a conversation about spiritual things, but it also speaks the truth--we are all doing better than we deserve.

What do we deserve? "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). We all came into this world as children of wrath and God would have been both fair and just in condemning us all to eternal damnation. That is what we deserved.

But God so loved the world that He gave HIs only begotten Son. He made Him who deserved no condemnation to take on the condemnation I deserved so that I might become the righteousness of God in Him (thus receiving that which I did not deserve).

His great love is displayed in His rich mercy and abundant grace. God's mercy is God not giving to us what we do deserve (condemnation). God's grace is God giving to us what we don't deserve (blessings we have received in Christ).

If you hear one of those "You deserve" advertisements, think instead of what you really did deserve and of what God has given to you instead in Christ. That's a better way to think about it.

Pastor Jerry

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