Good News for a Busy Culture
The people of this world are on a mission: a mission to prove themselves. Perhaps the biggest reason why people are too busy is that they are trying to prove themselves. Busyness has become a mark of honor in our culture. Take an expression like "I’m a very busy man." What does it mean in our culture? It doesn’t mean: "My life’s out of control." It means "I’m a very important person—you should show me some respect." The result is a level of overwork which is damaging our health and our homes.
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is a great opportunity to speak to people of justification. But we don’t need the anniversary to start a conversation about grace. Every day you will meet people who are trying to prove themselves. Some are trying to prove themselves to God. Many are trying to prove themselves to others or establish their own identity. All these futile attempts at self-justification are stretching people to breaking point.
Into this frenzy Jesus says: "Come to me . . . and find rest." (Matthew 11:28) We have good news for our busy culture. Proving yourself is just another term for justifying yourself. And we have good news of justification by grace.
If you are busy trying to prove yourself then you will always be busy. You will never get the job done—because you can’t prove yourself. You will be like a dog chasing its tail. Jesus cried on the cross: "It is finished." The job is done. The task is complete. There is full atonement. There is nothing left for you to do.
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We study the Reformation because of what we can learn. We learn of the treasure of the gospel.