“But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness”- Romans 4:5.

The cult hit Varsity Blues, though vulgar, was the popular thing for High School football teams to watch before a big game. Why? Fans reported afterwards how they liked Moxon’s distrust of authority, and how they ran the coach off at the end for his antics. However, C.S Lewis, in his “Great Divorce” records God saying “For those who say my will be done, God says have it your way.” Romans 1 makes a similar statement that God gave “sinners over to a depraved mind.” In 2000, the haunting thing for me was watching Varsity Blues and West Cannan win a big game in a movie to end the season, and my high school didn’t. Now? The haunting scene for me is Coach Kilmer walking out without saying a word because his players didn’t trust him. Does God do that to me, to us, today? How can we give credit where it is due for our faith? Answering two questions: How do we become righteous? How is our righteousness accomplished? In the season of Lent, we remind ourselves we can do nothing to become righteous. “I lift up my eyes to the hills-- from where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD” the Psalmist writes. In other words, the fact we can do anything righteous at all is because of God’s Grace. There are many Sunday Schools that teach kids to do the right thing, because that’s what Christians do. Which is fine, but from we’re does goodness come? Us?! I hope not! The human heart is “desperately wicked” according to Jeremiah 17:9. Grace can only come from the death and Resurrection of Jesus. He is how our righteousness was accomplished! Paul writes because of the cross of Jesus: God has “Canceled the handwriting of crimes that was against us, which was not who we are,, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross”- ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:14‬.

The task to avoid being ignored by God is simple. Remember Christ. Remember His Father gets the credit, and the glory, and that even if God is silent our whole lives, all that we are, all that I am, shall speak of Him.

John Thomas is a Pastor at Carroll Springs UMC

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