You’ll Never Measure Up


I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. — Galatians 2:20-21

In this life, we are conditioned to perform from the day we are born. We are conditioned to comply, behave, and obey. And as we do, we receive rewards, trophies, accolades, and promotions. And while this conditioning does work to make small improvements, it may only result in behavior modification and not deep transformation.

Now let's recognize that behavior modification does work to some degree. But it might only scratch the surface of change or only give the appearance of change. And when it comes to our relationship with God, there is no behavior we can change or modify to be in right standing with God.

Instead, Paul says we have to die, not change or improve our behavior. We have to crucify all of our life to the point we no longer live. This infers that we recognize that there is no act of obedience that will ever save us. There is nothing we can do. But there is something Christ can do. He can live in us — in you and me. By faith, we can choose to believe his resurrection life gives us spiritual life so that as we live in the flesh, he lives in us. This is a new life, changed at the motivational and spiritual level. It is a life lived in the flesh sustained by his righteousness, not by your behavior.

And then Paul drops the mic with this statement:

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Here is another way to say this:

Attempts at behavior modification in the spiritual life to earn a righteous standing with God are pointless. In fact, they confirm we don't believe in the righteousness freely extended by God's grace.

So today, don't nullify the wonder of God's grace working through you by trying to earn righteousness through obedience. Yes, this is the world's way, but this is not God's way. Instead, be obedient, but act in obedience out of faith, empowered by grace. And as you do, let others see God's system grace working through you so they will know deeper change.

ASK THIS: Are you trying to earn right standing with God through obedience and behavior modification?

DO THIS: Rely more on his grace today. Share below what grace you need from God. (Share it in the comments below.)

PRAY THIS: God, I know I will never be obedient enough. But your grace is too good to be true to me. Please help me in my disbelief of your grace by accepting your grace in one new way today. Thanks for extending your grace to me, a sinner.

PLAY THIS: This Is Amazing Grace.


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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

20 thoughts on “You’ll Never Measure Up

  1. Gino says:

    This truth is such a challenge for me. I try so hard not to blow it in some way. Praying, CR, bible, boundaries. But when I fall I’m always whacked out for days. I think because try so hard to not drink or act out sexually that when it happens, I’m devastated and hopeless at times because all the hard work and fighting still wasn’t enough

  2. Dennis says:

    Good message. To go one step further, we are to obey the commandments and we do so out of love for God.
    John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.
    The phrase people often use ” I am a work in progress” is one I do not care for because it is mostly used by an individual that is trying to justify a life dominating sin. Yes we are under grace, but we must live to emulate Christ who lives in us.

  3. Phil Green says:

    Today was one of your best devotions. I cannot EARN righteousness. I receive it by GRACE. I am so appreciative of that! There are things I cannot un-do in my life.

  4. Matt Smith says:

    Amen! Saved by grace. In college I was in a very legalistic church that did not teach about God’s grace. A lot of churches have it wrong. Grace not only saves us from our behavior so we can be saved, but Grace is the power in us (the indwelling Christ, the Holy Spirit) that brings the true change of our behavior (Gal. 3:3; Col. 2:19). Change comes from the inside-out.

  5. Alex Coon says:

    “Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
    Galatians 3:2-6

    Just as Abraham was called out and justified by believing in all that God promises, his life was elevated; and so are ours when we gave God the steering wheel of our lives

  6. Lynn says:

    The grace to look at people and see them as someone to love as God loves them and desire them to be part of his heavenly home. The grace to act by sharing the gospel with truth to others.

  7. Brian says:

    I need mercy for my past sins that have crushed my family. I need grace in aking the changes to be the husband and father God has called me to be.

  8. Eddie Ackerman says:

    I need grace from God when I lose my temper at my children’s actions. He deals with my temper tantrums daily and is patient to forgive. I need grace to do this in my own life and model this behavior for my kids and anyone else that sees my life from the outside of my household and His family.

  9. David says:

    I’ve been a follower of Christ for many years and marvelled of God’s grace to me a sinner; but can’t say I’ve ever found dying to self and identifying with Christ resurrection an easy experience, just saying

  10. John Krumm says:

    His favor to live all in. To sit at His feet and be a sponge and not try to prattle through life pointlessly, but to have a revelation of purpose in righteousness.

  11. Walter says:

    His grace is always given, never earned. I need to be more compassionate towards others in my interactions and allow God’s grace to shine through.

  12. SHELDON Bullard says:

    The grace to see people the way the Lord Jesus see’s them with a heart of compassion. then be moved to do something about it, present the gospel because people need the Lord.

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