Jackals

Daily Reform, Day 208,

Galatians 2:21 & Song of Solomon 2:14-15

From the Reformer

True, Christ can no longer be crucified in person, but He is crucified in us when we reject grace, faith, free remission of sins and endeavor to be justified by our own works, or by the works of the Law.

The Apostle is incensed at the presumptuousness of any person who thinks he can perform the Law of God to his own salvation. He charges that person with the atrocity of crucifying anew the Son of God.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

I sometimes feel like I am beating a dead horse but as Paul said elsewhere (Phil 3:1), it is no trouble for me and hopefully, it is a safeguard for you. So, I will say it as plainly as possible: There is nothing you must do—indeed, there is nothing you can do—in order that God will be favorably disposed toward you. That has already been accomplished on your behalf by Christ. What is left for you to do? Enjoy God’s company. Benefit from the fruit of your blessed relationship. God loves you; take pleasure in that fact. When you try to do things to make God love you, you are effectively rejecting his love. Your exertions tell God that his love for you is not enough and that you must do something to make him love you. In human relationships, we quickly tire of people who try to make us like them—especially if we already did like them. Soon enough, we look for ways to avoid those very people, who ironically, because they tried so hard, ended up annoying us. The same is true with God. Our presumptuous efforts (as if we could make God love us!) are like little jackals that devour the fruit of God’s friendship.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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