It seems like more and more we are being bombarded with messages which cry out "You deserve it!" Messages such as this have escalated consumer debt to a level never seen before. "Nice" people use it as a justification to lie, cheat and steal from their employers or anyone else for that matter. "The end justifies the means!" "I work hard, I deserve it!" have become the new mantras of society and I am sorry to say, it has also invaded Christianity. The only difference is, we have the audacity to attempt to apply this messed-up philosophy to God Himself!
We march into "The Throne Room" and present God with a list of our demands like spoiled children. We are told by people professing to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that if we say the "right words", then we can have everything we want... on our terms. We take the very Word of God and manipulate it to justify our selfishness and our greed. Our attitude, when confronted with this sin is that we are a Child of God and we deserve the affluence of this world. We deserve... "the good life"! Really? Let's take a look at what we "deserve".
The third chapter of Romans spells out pretty clearly exactly how "righteous" we are. In the New Living Testament it reads:
As the Scriptures say,
No one is righteous--not even one.
No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.
All have turned away; all have become useless.
No one does good, not a single one.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies. Snake venom drips from their lips.
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
They rush to commit murder.
Destruction and misery always follow them.
They don t know where to find peace.
They have no fear of God at all.
Romans 3: 10-18 (NLT)
This is who we are without the redeeming mercy and grace of God. It is not a pretty picture, is it? We don't like that picture one bit and we shouldn't for it is a very ugly although very accurate picture of who we are without Christ. People like to talk about people being "inherently good". No we're not. We're just the opposite. We are "inherently bad". Ask this questions of anyone who has been in a situation where there has been a breakdown in law such as in a war zone or a natural disaster. They have undoubtedly seen what the "nicest" people are capable of doing when they think they can get away with it.
There is only one thing we deserve. This will sound harsh but it is true. Romans 3:23 tells us exactly what we deserve. We deserve death. We deserve physical and spiritual death. We deserve to be separated from God. That and only that... is what we deserve. Anything good that we receive both as Christians ... and non-Christians, is a result of God's amazing love, mercy and grace toward us. God owes us nothing but He gives us these things and we dare... we dare to try to dictate to Him what we think we deserve!
Oh that we will never forget the love, mercy and grace of God who did NOT give us what we deserved!
this is so true.. people seem to be focusing on what they "deserve" and honestly? it comes from pride, and the bible says that pride is the root of all sin. people have lost the concept that ALL men are evil. their hearts do not want god. the only way our hearts are transformed is if christ saves us.. and instead of preaching the beautiful message of the gospel, they substitute it for cheap prosperity.
Could not have possibly said it any better! Is it not humbling to know that there was nothing we could do for ourselves, no thought, no words, no actions, no good deeds that could earn His grace, nothing could save us from His judgement. Only His divine grace... ...