Falling Short while Looking Up

Romans 3:23-24

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 

Today’s verses really hit the nail on the head as far as sin goes: We all fall short. We all sin. You can categorize some sins into “Big” and “Little” sins but in the end, we all fall short of His standard. Even Paul recognized this in his letter to the Roman.

It’s somewhat of a relief to read this though, because we probably put a lot of pressure on ourselves to live up to certain expectations; maybe from our spouses or parents or co-workers and friends. We might fall short in those relationships, too. But it’s comforting to know that God understands that as humans, we are not perfect and will have moments of walking away from God. In those moments of sin, we aren’t living up to His expectations.

But there’s Good News: He declares that we are righteous. When God forgives our sins, our record is wiped clean. As the Deacon at my parish told me just yesterday, “God can read our hearts.”  When we stray, and we confess that we have strayed, God welcomes us back. He can read our hearts that we are sorry.

So while you may feel you are falling short, remember to look up. Look up to Him, confess, be forgiven, and walk the path of righteousness that God has set for you.

Fit In Your Faith Today: Where are you falling short, not just in God’s eyes, but in other parts of your life? We are not perfect but we can strive to be better Christians by looking up to God, before we fall down and sin again. Confess and be forgiven, then get up again.

 

Putting on the Armor of God

Ephesians 6:11-12

Put on the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

The city of Ephesus, to which this letter was written to, was practicing what would be considered a “cult” practice of magic, new age, spells, etc. at this time.  They were trying to harness divine powers for their own control. Lots of spiritual warfare going on at this time. This was the home of St. Paul for awhile because it was at the heart of the battle of light and darkness.

Paul is trying to assure the Ephesians (and us in our present day) that the struggles in this world is not with the things that we see. We always want to blame people around us for our problems like politicians, world leaders, the government, anyone but ourselves. While there’s plenty of blame to go around, that’s not the end of the story. There are spiritual realities behind all these people and events that are bigger than we can actually see.

What is bigger? God. God is bigger than all of this. There is an unseen reality all around us. We have guardian angels who are protecting us and fighting these battles that we just can’t see. It can scary to think about this but it’s also comforting. The reality for us is that God is in control. We need to pray for the grace and the strength to do our part in this “battle.” As chaotic as the world might seem, we need to have confidence that God has won.

Fit in Your Faith Today: Recognize that just because what you read in the paper and see on the news looks like the world is chaotic and in turmoil, this battle has already been won. God is bigger than the chaos.