Daily Devotion


Fresh Start: Breaking the Chains

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Daily Devotion, Fresh Start | 0 comments

What do you have to do to become a Christian? What do you have to do to stay a Christian? Will God’s love still be there if you don’t clean up your act? Is a relationship with God on-again-off-again depending on your behavior?

Last time, we started considering the life of a wealthy young ruler who asked Jesus about eternal life. Let’s continue the story today.

Mark 10:19-20
You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”

Legalism is the belief that a relationship with God depends on me—my behavior, my response, my attitude. If I am good, God will accept me. If I am bad, God will reject me.

If I am in the middle of the road, well, maybe God will put up with me.

The wealthy young man who approached Jesus was a legalist. When Jesus cited the commandments, the man said he had kept every one of them since he was a boy. Think of it! He couldn’t remember the last time he had stepped out of line. That’s the trouble with being a legalist. You carry around a pretty high opinion of yourself when you conclude you’re keeping all the rules. Legalists are also spiritual elitists. They believe they have the corner on the spiritual market.

Tomorrow, we’ll see how Jesus stops the rich young man in his legalistic tracks. But for today, I have some questions for you. Do you have any signs of legalism? Do you believe you can be good enough for God? Do you believe you can keep all of God’s instructions? Do you believe God accepts you when you’re good and rejects you when you mess up? Do you believe you can lose your relationship with God based on your actions?

Again, more tomorrow, but let’s not miss this truth today. You cannot make yourself good enough for God. You can’t keep all of God’s instructions. A relationship with him is only by grace. Grace is a refreshing place to go for a fresh start.

Father, keep us from the folly of legalism. Don’t let us think for a second that we can be good enough for you. Don’t allow us to believe that a relationship with you can be earned by good works. Open our eyes to any legalism in our lives and remove this deceptive disease. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This