TUESDAY, October 20

Psalm 26. Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life. (NIV)

 The service manager at the car dealership gave me a certificate for a “free” oil change, but only after verifying that I had given the dealership a good rating on my last visit. That oil change wasn’t free; it was bought and paid for by a favorable survey.In our spiritual lives, too, often an expression designed to say “thank you” becomes a bribe, a bargain to get God to embrace us. We want to say, “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have led a blameless life,” when we should say, “You have vindicated me, O Lord, so I try to lead a blameless life.”

To say that we must live good lives to earn something from God is to deny God’s grace and unconditional love. Something received because we deserve it or have earned it is not a gift. No, God’s gifts are real gifts, not transactions or payments for services rendered.

God loves. God forgives. God embraces. All this comes not from our earning it, but from God’s initiative. My life, lived well, is not the cause of God’s grace, but its effect. The grace of God truly is free. And because of that grace, so am I.

PRAY for the Diocese of Thika (Kenya)

Ps 28 * 36, 39; Lamentations 1:1-5(6-9)10-12; 1 Corinthians 15:41-50; Matthew 11:25-30

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