That Eastminster Car Magnet: Reward or Reminder?
Posted in Grace/Forgiveness
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what He has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” Ephesians 2: 8-10
If you know my husband, you know he is a really good guy. He cares deeply for his family and friends and would drop anything and go the extra mile for any one of us. And if you reeeally know my husband, you may also know that when he is going that extra mile, he is doing so quite speedily and may be bobbing and weaving in and out of traffic to reach his destination. He is not afraid of the gas pedal. Or the horn. Or passing on the right. This is a man with a purpose and a sense of urgency, and I know I don’t want to be in his way. And for this reason, I have, um, suggested that he refrain from placing the Eastminster magnet on his vehicle. How would it look, after all, to be passed on the right by a God-fearing man of faith?
But perhaps I have it all wrong. What if I viewed the Eastminster magnet as a reminder rather than a reward? What if I removed the plank solidly lodged in my own eye and stopped worrying about what other people think?
It’s taken some digging for me to find the root of the “faith and works” concept. After all, if you are saved by grace alone and there is nothing you can do to earn that grace, then why bother, right? But then there’s that sticky wicket of “faith without works is dead”. It’s because of our faith that we should want to do good works; we should want to do the right thing. God doesn’t want us going through the motions of works that are simply done of duty and not tied to our heartstrings. The closer we draw to God, the more he tugs at those heartstrings.
That Eastminster car magnet is not necessarily a badge that says you can do no wrong. It’s not even an advertisement asking people to follow you (quite speedily, might I add) to the church. It’s more of an internal reminder that God –gentle, patient, and loving God– is with you every mile of the way.
Father God, you are with me at every turn. Remind me of your will and gently guide me throughout my day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Submitted by Kelly Barbrey