How often have you heard people say that “We must raise the bar”? You will hear it at work, from your friends, and even within your circles of faith. What does this mean? What is the bar? In order to measure anything we must first have a fixed, stable, and constant point of reference from which to gauge progress. Can this idea truly be applied to our life of Faith? If our point of reference is God, how is progress measured? The true question is whether anyone can do anything to merit God’s favor. Paul states to all believers, “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. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19,20
With no man righteous what is being strived for as we reach for a higher bar? To bring this thought to a personal level let me share my personal journey. I have had many changes in my life over the last year. I transition from having a multitude of time to read and blog through the Bible each day to having my time filled with the mundane tasks of life. My desire was to continue my blogging as I went about my daily routine but it became a difficult. I constantly set more and more goals to keep me going to no avail. I started to get down on myself for my lack of zeal and study time because surely God was disappointed. I made many assumptions about my faith and the measure of it. I was my own problem. What does God desire? Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Can we say that God desires us? There is an unfathomable love that God has bestowed on us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18. God moved and acted to restore mankind and no bar of merit was raised that man should live up to. Jesus Christ is everything that we need! We must raze the bars that we have placed in our lives and realized the complete sufficiency of Jesus Christ. What would happen if the bars of life were razed? Would justice spring forth? Would unconditional love abound? Would self guilt cease? This life is not about what we do or any other person has done. Life is about Jesus Christ and what he has done. Live free in Christ alone.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.