Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” - Romans 3:20
When Jesus walked the earth, He directed the focus off of the apparently “good” people doing apparently “good” things, and redirected people’s focus on to God. The religious leaders were pointing to the rules; Jesus pointed to Himself, through whom relationships are restored to God.
A healthy, growing faith is always focused on the person of God Himself. A healthy faith begins and ends in God, not in rules, regulations, and sheer duty. Jesus Christ, not religion, is at the core of a robust Christian faith.
Today Jesus Christ offers people like you and me the same opportunity He gave to people in the early church. The choice is ours. We can insist on performing and conforming out of obligation, and we can try to feel good by chalking up good deeds.
Or you can choose Christ’s way. You can love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. You can experience His love and get to know Him intimately. You can stop hiding behind religious facades and meet Him right where you are. You can focus on Him and find sanity, rest, and peace when all hell seems to be breaking loose around you.
Life is not about you. Surrender yourself to Christ’s love and acceptance. Grow closer to Him. Make Him—not your “good deeds” or anyone or anything else—the focus of your life. You’ll never regret it.
“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Whether he was there or not during your youth, your father has shaped and continues to shape who you are and how you function in every aspect of your life. And while our culture devalues the contribution that a father makes to a family, it is clear that those of us with an absent or detached father have an empty, undefinable longing–for Dad. Making Peace with Your Father offers you a comprehensive look at the role of the father. It celebrates the positive influence a dad can have and uncovers the consequences that absent or abusive fathers have on their children. Most importantly, it takes you through eleven steps that will move you toward forgiveness so that you can make peace with your earthly father for the pain or difficulties he has brought to your life–allowing you to develop a closer relationship with your heavenly Father.