Let Hope In, Session 5: Do You Make the Grade?

 By Jennifer McCaman

Never fall short again. 

makegradeReport cards. For some, the memory evokes dread — a scheduled reminder of academic shortcomings. A few C’s meant getting grounded or, at the very least, receiving that disapproving look from parents. Self-worth often became embedded in those weighty letters.

Right or wrong, the report card system brands a certain scale into our lives: perfect, almost perfect, average, below average, and failing. Although report cards often are only a childhood reality, the concept infiltrates our adult lives, including our spirituality.

Grading on the Curve 

It’s tempting to compare ourselves to others and conclude that we’re not so bad. We might give ourselves an A or a B on our worst days. However, we don’t make the grade on our own.

Romans 3:23 tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10 echoes, “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.” This means that no matter how good we try to be, our morality is worthless to God. We all fail. There’s no scale to spirituality. We’re either holy or unholy, righteous or unrighteous, based on how we compare to Jesus — the only perfect standard.

On our own, we can do nothing to earn a better spiritual grade. We can’t be good enough, smart enough, studied-up enough, or giving enough to raise our spiritual status. However, in Christ we have all we need. Romans 5:8 declares, “God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” This means while we were failing spiritually, God took our punishment on Himself. Ephesians 2:8-9 explains, “You are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.”

Choosing A+ Love

Jesus offers us complete right-standing with God. Nothing we could ever do on our own would make us worthy. Only His sacrifice on the cross covers our sins and makes us pure. In Christ, we are free to live A-level lives. We receive the gift of a relationship with God and the power to become like Christ. God no longer sees failure or defeat when He sees us. He sees the A+ love and sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

If you’re choosing right now to believe Jesus died for your sins and to receive new life through Him, pray a prayer similar to this one:

Dear God, I know I’m a sinner. I believe Jesus died to forgive me of my sins. I now accept Your offer of eternal life. Thank You for forgiving me of all my sin. Thank You for my new life. From this day forward, I will choose to follow You.

If you have made this decision to place your faith in Jesus, it’s important to connect with a local church. Bible study and worship, as well as fellowship with other believers, can help you grow in your relationship with Christ.

To speak with someone about how to have new life in Christ, call toll free (888) 537-8720.

 

Jennifer McCaman is a cherished daughter, big sister, pastor’s wife, mother, and freelance writer.

homelife0913This article originally appeared in the August, 2011 issue of HomeLife. Subscribe

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