APRIL 21: Earn It
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In the movie Saving Private Ryan, WWII soldier James Ryan learns that his three brothers had all be killed in various battles. As such, he is to be released from duty and return home as the only surviving son. Toward the end of the movie, the commanding officer sent to retrieve Ryan, John Miller (Tom Hanks), becomes mortally wounded while protecting the younger Ryan. In this climactic scene, Miller’s final words to Ryan are, “Earn it.” Miller was basically saying, I paid a huge price for you. Make sure you live a life worthy of it. For the rest of his life, James Ryan wondered if he lived a good enough life to earn it.
This theme of earning life or salvation is prevalent all throughout the book of Romans and is especially prominent in Chapter 7. The Apostle Paul notes that some may believe they can earn their salvation by following God’s commandments. Others may think they can earn God’s favor by living with good intentions. But this isn’t the real gospel. The real gospel tells us that we don’t have to live always wondering if we’re good enough to earn it. The real gospel is a gift.
READING & JOURNALING:
How regularly do you still find yourself trying to earn God’s favor or blessings in your life? What lies may you be believing that lead you to think you can or should try to earn God’s favor?
Heavenly Father, as I continue to study through the book of Romans, I’m recognizing that even though I know the gospel is a free gift, I still sometimes live by trying to earn favor or blessings for You. Today, simply help me to rest in the truth that I cannot earn Your grace, but must simply receive it and know that I am Your beloved son or daughter. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)
The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.
Read: Luke 2
Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.