Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK SIX
ORBIT – DAY TWENTY SIX
Hello and welcome to another week of Orbit – the daily devotional thought from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying this experiment over the last few weeks – please get in touch and let us know what you think of it. We’re creating a new Orbit every weekday – our hope is that it will help you to establish just a small daily rhythm of time with God each day.
We’re making our way through Paul’s letter to the Romans at the moment; it’s worth repeating a few times that this is one of the most challenging books in the Bible to understand, just because it’s packed so tightly with amazing theology.
BIBLE READING: Romans 5: 20 – 6:2
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
If you did the last edition of Orbit, you’ll know that we were exploring the size of God’s grace. Grace, remember, is the demonstration of God’s love to those who don’t deserve it – which of course is all of us. But wherever we might draw the lines about who does and doesn’t deserve God’s grace, we know that God will always go further. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross – absolutely everyone is invited to become a part of God’s family, no matter who they are or what they’ve done.
In this short passage, Paul explains that grace adjusts itself to consume any sin. If you’ve lived a mainly good life, and say sorry for the things you’ve done, then God’s grace is big enough to cover those sins – to make them invisible in God’s sight. It’s as if Jesus throws a great big blanket over all our mess. But if you’ve actually done a whole lot of bad stuff in your life – but then turned to God, then it’s still ok. It’s as if the blanket just expands! No matter how big the sin, God’s grace is always bigger.
So Paul anticipates a loophole. Humans are always trying to find loopholes – it’s actually one of the basic principles of economics. He knows that if grace is an ever-expanding blanket, we might be tempted to do a whole lot of other stuff that can go under it. And here’s the scandal of grace: in a sense, we can. God allows us to keep messing up if we want to, and grace will still cover us.
But Paul – rather than suggesting that such an attitude disqualifies us from grace, encourages us to be better. Rather than suggesting punishment for failure, he calls us to a higher standard. It’s not a case of ‘don’t do that or else God will be mad’, but ‘because God is so good, do good.’ This might seem like a technicality, but it’s fundamental to understanding our relationship with God. If we have truly given our lives to him; if the Holy Spirit lives in us, then we no longer need to fear the eternal consequences of sin. But as we understand the depths of his love and grace more and more, we should be motivated to live our lives in a way that rejects sin, and honours him.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord I thank you for your grace. Help me to keep living my life in a way that honours and responds to your love for me. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
One of the ways in which we respond to God’s forgiveness of us, is by forgiving others. Today, try to think of someone who you have held something against, or found hard to forgive for some reason. Ask God for his help in forgiving that person, and then take a step toward restoring that relationship. This isn’t easy – and in some cases it may even feel impossible – but God calls us to extend forgiveness instead of holding grudges, and we know that he has already forgiven so much in us.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!