"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
All kinds of things get measured in life. A child's progress is measured as he or she is still in the womb. After they are born, the child is measured and weighed. Throughout life a child is compared to other children developmentally; they compete in sports, music programs, school and in their group of friends. However, the only person we should compare ourselves to is Jesus, and He is very up front with how we measure up. Romans 3:22-24 says, "For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Measuring ourselves against others is useless, because we are all sinners.
The church is the one place where we are not measured by what we do. God's grace does not measure. It is undeserved kindness toward immeasurable sinners. The church is where the means of grace are, the Word and Sacrament. It's where we come to confess our sins and receive the free forgiveness from Jesus' death and resurrection. The cross is the one place where Jesus measures up for us as He takes our sins on Himself. God's Word says in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Psalm 103:11-13 tells us the measurement to which our sins have been forgiven, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth,so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west,so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him."
This is a truth for now, and for the future in our eternal life. Because of Jesus' death and resurrection, we know with confidence we will be at our Lord's side in heaven for all eternity.
As we begin a new day in a world of measurements and comparisons, know that it is because of God's grace alone in Jesus' death and resurrection that we have been saved and measure up. All other measurements do not compare to how we are viewed in the face of the cross. Jesus has done all of the work. Keep that in mind as we compete in sports, music and school work. We may get cut from the sports team or struggle to get good grades, but remember we are forgiven because of Jesus' death and resurrection, and we always make God's team and the grade is always a perfect A
Published April 2012