Philippians 3:12-14 - Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
In Philip Yancey's book, What's So Amazing About Grace?, he defines one of the big words of the Christian faith: "grace." Grace is often described as "undeserved love." Some have said grace is "God's Righteousness At Christ's Expense." I like how Yancey defined it when he said, "Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less."
In other words, your works don't matter when it comes to God's grace for you. Your resume, your list of accomplishments and, thankfully, your sins as well—they don't matter because God loves you by grace in Jesus Christ. His unconditional love is a complete gift, repentantly received by faith alone. A selfie, even the best one you can muster, won't cut it. But thank God it doesn't have to.
One of the blessings and, unfortunately, one of the curses of our age has been the spread of social media. At its best, it allows us to catch up with friends we haven't seen or heard from in years and share valuable information with others quickly. Sadly, it also trots out the worst of our impulses: the bullying, the lies and the seediness of life and, in general, the foolishness we are so capable of.
Today, we live in a world saturated with online tools that allow us to create whatever kind of "best life" we want to pitch to the public. Still, behind the camera and the posed selfies, many hope no one sees the whole picture of what is really going on in their lives.
St. Paul, in God's Word, rescues us from this sort of flimsy reality. He tells us that Christ's people can be honest with themselves. Paul even gives us a glimpse of his sinful life—warts and all. He is interested in the truth that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave to save us. This is no caricature of life in some clever post, no retooled image to mask all the blemishes. Why? Because nothing we can do can change who we are before God: sinners, one and all, in desperate need of a Savior who is Christ the Lord.
This, of course, is not a Facebook reality; it's a faith-book reality: an offer of grace to you and me, "written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name" (John 20:31). To that end, may God keep you in that grace!
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, keep us consumed with Your Book because it is there we find the words of eternal life. Amen.
From "No Selfies Needed When God Offers His Grace," a devotional message from Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. What do you like most about social media? Least?
2. Why is forgetting the past and leaning into the future so difficult? Do we make it harder than it needs to be?
3. Name three ways you can use social media for good, for building others up?
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