Wednesday, June 20, 2007

That Cup is Lying to You

The battle to believe the gospel does not have boundries. There is no way to avoid the gospel-destroying, faith-belittling, pride-producing messages of our culture. You can be sitting in an office with over 1,000 gospel-saturated books and an ESV open to Galatians 2:16, and even there you are not safe.

Let me explain. About twice a week, I run through McDonald's right after lunch for a large sweet tea ($1.07 with tax). Nothing like a big cup of sweet tea available to quench my thirst throughout the afternoon! Today, this cup of tea was preaching to me. On the side of the cup, along with the "I'm lovin' it" motto was this statement in big, blue and red letters:

Because you deserve it.

Now, the advertisement is for a free apple pie with the purchase of a large extra value meal (how is something free if you have to pay for it?).

Get the message? You have worked hard. You have sacrificed alot. You have endured so much. You have been the victim of difficult circumstances. Your character is morally superior. You should get paid alot more for what you do. You are under-appriciated. You deserve it.

My temptation today has nothing to do with an apple pie. However, it has everything to do with self-sufficency, pride, and legalism. My tendency and temptation is to smuggle my character into my acceptance with God. My battle is to believe the gospel today. The gospel says that I am a great sinner. The gospel says that I deserve the full force of God's wrath because of my sins. And the gospel says that all good gifts (including apple pies and large sweet teas) come to me by grace through Christ's substitutionary atonement, not through my moral character.

I don't deserve "it", no matter what "it" is, unless "it" refers to the condemnation of a holy God.

A Christian should never say they deserve anything good (including apple pies, promotions at work, respect from loved ones, or whatever else we just think we should get).


Chase said...

Good words Justin, True nourishment for my soul!
Much better than some fat filled apple pie that lasts only moments!

Randy said...

Amen! Of all people, Christians must remember we deserve nothing good. Only by the grace of God are given such wonderful blessings in this life and life eternal.

BoldLion said...

About Deserve! I was thinking about CJ Mahaney in his book that is The Cross Centered Life when he talked about on page 64 he would say "Better than I deserve." I never forgotten what he said, and we all need to be reminded daily that we don't deserve anything.

Thank you for reminding us too. You are right!

In Christ Alone,

BoldLion said...

I made a mistake on the page number!opps! On page 84 not 64!