Under Worked and Over Paid.

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 57-59; Romans 4

So what are we going to say? Are we going to find that Abraham is our ancestor on the basis of genealogy? Because if Abraham was made righteous because of his actions, he would have had a reason to brag, but not in front of God. What does the scripture say? Abraham had faith in God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Workers’ salaries aren’t credited to them on the basis of an employer’s grace but rather on the basis of what they deserve. But faith is credited as righteousness to those who don’t work, because they have faith in God who makes the ungodly righteous. In the same way, Abraham also pronounces a blessing on the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from actions:

Happy are those whose actions outside the Law are forgiven,
        and whose sins are covered?
Happy are those whose sin isn’t counted against them by the Lord. (Romans 4:4-8, Common English Bible).

When I left active duty in the Navy I got a job just about as quick as my plane landed at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. I didn’t stay there long. Within the first couple of months, I messed up and lost my job. Almost immediately I got another job working for an uncle. It quickly became obvious this wasn’t going to work, so I left to keep peace in my family.

This time it took me a little time to find another job. I went to work for a southwest Houston movie theater and went back to school. It was the only job I ever had where I could say I was underworked and overpaid (for what I did).  Once the film was run through the projector, the projector started by itself, stopped by itself, and wound up on the next platter. As long as my two screens were up and running, the theater managers would just leave me alone.

My work had little to do with staying busy. It was a great job for a student. You got paid relatively well, for very little work. What I was really paid for was, being able to do something about it when there was a problem. When the film breaks or a bulb blows up in the projector, you had to know what to do and get it done quickly. All in all, it was a great job for going to school.

I was paid, not because the theater just had good people in their management team, they were, but I was paid to be there. I was paid for the knowledge I had. It was accounted to me because I earned it (well sort of).

Paul talks in today’s lesson about how faith is accounted to us as righteousness. We cannot earn or buy God’s grace. We can’t work for it or trade for it or beg, borrow, or steal it. It is ours because God chooses to give that grace to us.

My paycheck every week when I worked for that movie theater, as much as my paycheck in more recent years as a preacher and the paychecks I will get this school year as a teacher are mine because I earned them. I performed a task (hopefully I did it well), and my employer gave me a paycheck, not because my employer was a nice person (and they may well be nice people, hopefully, they are nice people). I earned the paycheck.

God’s grace is a different story. It was never mine to start with. I did nothing to earn it. I will never do anything that will earn it. Yet I have it anyway because I have faith, the faith I have in Jesus Christ.

Think about it this way. If someone walks up to you, out of the blue and hands you a $100 bill. You give them a funny, questioning look. Then they say, “It is my gift to you.” You didn’t earn it but you still have it.

Though much more valuable, God’s grace is like that $100 bill and that person on the street is God. The real question becomes, will you accept the gift.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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