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Can we be fixed?

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

Romans 3:19
Can we be fixed? Book Cover

One of the cutest things little kids do is place Band-Aids on their bumps and bruises. Seeing a kid carefully pick between Frozen, Dora, or smiley emoji Band-Aids to put on their knees they bruised with absolutely zero blood and no chance of the skin breaking makes us smile. But we happily oblige because it makes lil’ Jasmine feel better. When Jasmine asks to put it on her stuffed bear, we put up no fight either. We know that the Band-Aids will have zero effect in helping her heal a bloodless bump, and even less so for her teddy. But, when Jasmine grows up and is in her mid-thirties asking for a Band-Aid for her bruised knee, you can expect many perplexed faces and probably some side eye. In the same way a Band-Aid is unable to heal a bruise, the law is unable to heal our brokenness. They might make us feel better, but they lack the power to save.

limited law

The law—the statutes given by God to govern his people—served a beautiful and good purpose. It revealed God’s character, his values, and his standard for just and right living. It also provided regulations and boundaries for God’s people. We celebrate God’s gift of the law, while also recognizing the limitations of it. Though the law helped humans to know the righteous standard, it was powerless toremove the stain of unrighteousness when sins were committed.

It told us how to live but did not empower us to do so. The law, though good and beautiful, only revealed our sin, it did not have the ability to atone for it.

So, while we celebrate that the law is both regulatory (helps regulate our behavior) and revelatory (reveals God character), we must look elsewhere for a savior for our sin problem.

you can't work for it

In God’s gospel, the fact that the law was powerless to save us is in fact good news. If the law could save us, the gospel message would always be: Do better, strive harder, sin less. Instead, we have a more holistic gospel that says something greater than the law came to make a way for us to cease striving, to stop working, to trust that God will free us from sin. In a world of more, bigger, better, louder, we need a gospel message that says be still, rest, trust, and receive. The beautiful law could not save us and thank God for that. Instead, the gospel message is much more beautiful and causes far less striving.


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Daily Question

In what ways have you tried to earn God’s favor? Does the idea of “cease striving” comfort you? Why or why not?

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Comments (10)

I believe that we should all be leading others to come to Christ. I do not think that this means we should be looking for people to favor us. We are here to lead others to him, not to try to satisfy ourselves. We are to lead our lives, so that we can be an example of his love, so that they will come to know Christ as their personal Savior.

I don’t know if I tried to earn God’s favor, but I have strived to follow the rules. I was always perplexed, however, when I didn’t get the recognition from others for my virtue. Now that Christ has saved me, I haven’t stopped trying to live up to His nature but I know that I can’t earn anything. I now try to follow His will because of love. His love for me and my love for Him. The motive makes all the difference.

One way (there are several if I stop and think about it) I have tried to earn God’s favour: I have gotten up earlier in the day to make sure I had time for Bible study. While this is a good practice it wasn’t something I did out of love for God, it was something I did because I felt I had to. For me it was a way of "pleasing God".
Yes, ceasing to strive does comfort me. When I take the time to relax and listen to the Spirit of God within me I am refreshed, rejuvenated and lead in a way that is good for my life and the life of those around me.

I don’t know if I try to earn God’s favor. I feel like I’ve always believed that you get to heaven by faith not works. The idea of cease striving does give me comfort because I will never be perfect for God and that’s ok…he loves me anyway, just as I am. I can try to make good decisions but when I don’t, with repentance, I am forgiven and STILL a child of God. The best unconditional love EVER!!

I feel as though I do certain things because I believe it will please God. I volunteer and try to be kind and nice every single moment of every single day of my life. I feel as though dropping this mentality of "God will love me if I do this" and just following his Word and what he has in store for us is far better. This is where "cease striving" comes in. Where I can pray and wait patiently for what God has planned for me and what he wants me to follow as a Christian. I believe that is far better than doing the things I think God wants me to do without talking to him about it first!

With my characters , for sure the idea of ‘cease striving ‘ comforts me. I am a people person and I feel the need of pleasing people so that I have more friends. As I got to know God, I treated Him as I treated people. Now as I grow deeper, I know it doesn’t work that way. I believe my faith and His grace is enough. This understanding a out my position to my God helps me see my relationship with other people from a different perspective.

I’ve tried to earn God’s favor by always trying to do better. Cease Striving is comforting in as much as it relieves me that it is not I who lives but Christ who lives within me. And if I could just make this a motto for living a Christian life, I could of myself not have to always try to do better, but find myself naturally doing better. Also comforting is if God is really in control why do we continue to try and control everything ourselves!!!! "Cease Striving"!

Sometimes I get in the habit of doing things and making things perfect. Especially when it comes to events. Sometimes I feel like Martha in the story of Martha and Mary. I feel like I strive to make sure that everything feels and looks perfect and that everyone is having a good time. Sometimes it gets in the way of me really connecting with ppl. Cease striving does comfort me in a way where, if I do remember, I can catch myself in the act, stop, and interact with everyone. The ambience is great but being with the people and talking is so much better. Jesus loved it when Mary was sitting at his feet listening to him. She was engaged. G
That is what God wants for his people to love each other by showing interest and grace towards one another.

But we know that no one is made right with God by following the law. It is trusting in Jesus Christ that makes a person right with God. So, we have put our faith in Christ Jesus because we wanted to be made right with God. And we are right with Him because we trusted in Christ—not because we followed the law. I can say this because no one can be made right with God by following the law… If following the law is how people are made right with God, then Christ did not have to die. Galatians 2:16, 21b (ERV)

Some of us spend so much time trying to live perfectly, yet still fall short. While we should try to put our best foot forward, living a life that is pleasing to God, we should not become so legalistic that we allow no room for error. There will be times when we’ll make decisions that aren’t His desire for us. It is not the law that keeps us in good standing, but His grace that allows us to be forgiven. Christ did this for us! His life for our freedom.

For a solid five years the one thing I kept hearing over and over from God was, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10). Life was difficult, I was exhausted, and I felt like I might not be able to hang on much longer. The burden was just to crushing and I desperately needed God to do for me what I could not do for myself. I just didn’t quite understand what that meant. One day God told me the same thing… “cease striving and know…” In frustration I finally said to God, “Why do you keep telling me that?!? I don’t even know what that means!!!”

I look back a few years past that time and am slowly realizing what I didn’t understand was the heartbeat of the Gospel message. Unbeknownst to me I was still trying to live under a version of the law, thinking God expected the “Do better, strive harder, sin less.” He was telling me to stop and trust that His grace really would cover my failures; that His mercies really would be new every morning; that He really would be faithful to me to the very end. He was inviting me to rest in the true Gospel invitation as so beautifully described above: a “gospel message that says be still, rest, trust, and receive.” Though I’m still learning how to do that and still be disciplined, devoted, and diligent, I’m beginning to understand the freedom and peace found in the message of Jesus Christ. Thank the Lord striving isn’t a burden Gods asking me to carry because He, Himself, carried it for me.

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