The Futility of Hoop-Jumping
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. 1 Corinthians 1:26
IF YOU HAD to meet at least one of the following qualifications to earn salvation and enter heaven, which one(s) would get you in today?
_____ Translate the entire Hebrew Old Testament into Swahili.
_____ Write a check to charity from your own bank account in the amount of $50 million.
_____ Run a marathon backwards every day for month.
_____ Figure pi to the thousandth place with paper and pencil and no calculator.
_____ Explain existentialism to a group of kindergartners.
_____ Spend a year in a Third World country living on bugs while you build a hydroelectric power plant for the local people.
_____ Donate your body for scientific experiments--while you are still alive.
Aren’t you glad God isn’t asking you to jump through some of those hoops to qualify for heaven?
The point is, of course, that all of us would be in seriously deep trouble if we had to earn our way into heaven by our own power, intellect, or money. Sure, there might be some people in the world who could pull off one or more of the above. But there probably aren’t many who could do five of them, even if they had a lifetime to try. And if there were, they would probably be some of the most egotistical people in the world: “Check out the hydroelectric plant I built for Botswana.” “Yeah, well look at my Swahili translation of the Old Testament.”
If you had to come to God this way, you wouldn’t make it. God designed it that way so he would get the credit, not you. You can enjoy salvation because of what he has done, not because of anything you can do. So there’s no room to boast. You might be good, but you’re not good enough. You may be wise, but you’re not wise enough. So when you talk about who you are in Christ, don’t lead people to believe that you had much to do with it. Make sure others understand that you are who you are as a Christian because of what God has done.
REFLECT: What difference does it make in your life that you don’t have to jump through hoops to get into heaven?
PRAY: Thank God for sending his Son so you could spend eternity in heaven.
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