“LORD, if You considered sins, Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness so that You may be revered.” – Psalm 130:3-4
In the coming weeks there will be the final football games in the NFL season. These are playoff games that determine who moves on to the BIG GAME…the Super Bowl. I’m sure many of us will be actively watching or listening to these games or at least reading about the final scores in the newspaper the next day. Those final numbers, the score, determines the immediate future of the teams involved. It matters not how many wins or loses they have over the entire season. It matters not how gifted or talented the players on each team. It matters not how gifted or committed the team coach is. All that matters at the end of the day is two numbers we call the score…someone will win and someone will lose.
Perhaps many of us live as if God were keeping score, as if He has His own scoreboard with everyone’s name on it. One side lists “Good Works” and the other “Sins/Bad Things.” Can you imagine if eternal life depended on being perfect or trying to make sure all our good outweighed our bad? We would be like my little league team: living in defeat with no hope.
As a believer in Christ, are you tempted to think God is keeping score—that you have to do better in order for Him to love you? We may know intellectually that we are forgiven, but let’s think about the way we live. It’s normal for us to try to “prove ourselves” in life, especially in athletics. Perhaps you play or played for a coach you could never please. Breaking news! God is not keeping score, at least not for those who have put their faith in Him and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Think about someone who showed you mercy. Maybe a coach or teacher who chose not to give you what you deserved. How did that make you feel? That is our God! If God were counting our iniquities, as the Psalmist says in verse 3, “who could stand?” We would suffer the ultimate defeat with no hope of eternal life! But Romans 5:8 says, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
Why did Jesus die? Because we were hopeless losers, dead in our transgressions and sins, behind on the spiritual scoreboard by thousands of runs we could never erase. But God, in His mercy, sent His one and only Son to die in our place. We win! And the victory results in reverence or worship of Him. He wants our hearts and is merciful and compassionate to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now that you know it, go out and live like a winner in Christ!