Gardendale Nazarene

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The wages of... | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

The wages of...

Do you remember your first paycheck? My first job was at an Elvis/Nascar souvenir shop at Opryland theme park (I know that's a weird combination). I can remember getting that first check in the mail and realizing that this was an actual paycheck. This wasn't the six dollars I received for mowing my Aunt Evie's yard. I was actually earning money.

I worked that job for the summer and spent many hot summer nights in that little shop.

One of the many things I learned that summer was the value of work. I worked and at the end of every two weeks, I would receive a check in the mail. I worked and I was paid for the work.

This week, I would like to pick up where we left off last week. Romans 4:4-5 reads, "When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners" (NLT).

There is a temptation of approaching our faith like we approach work. We live a certain way and then our 'paycheck' is our salvation.

Here, Paul is driving home his point from the passage last week.

Our salvation is not an earned wage. It is a gift. What do we do when we receive a gift? We give thanks.

This is where the water can get a little murky. How do we give thanks? We obey the commands of God. We love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. We love our neighbors– for they are God's creation and He is seeking to redeem them as well.

Obeying God's commands, loving Him completely, and loving our neighbors does not save us– they are a response in love to the saving grace of God.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35)

May we give thanks to the One who saves us!

Pastor John