Athletics are a big part of almost every culture. We are all inspired by the champion spirit that is consumed with winning and being the best. It usually starts with a friendly activity played for fun. Then, as we grow, we develop ways to keep score in an effort to drive competition and perfect the game.
If you think about it, any "score card" developed is a source of power for someone to leverage against another. As soon as we agree on a standard, we empower the idea of measurement. If the measurement is to high jump 6 feet, and someone only jumps 5 feet, they have fallen short of the standard of measurement. Once we define who can jump high, we automatically define who cannot jump high. Therefore, a score board gives power to achievement and defines failure.
So who is keeping score in life? How do we win? How do we score points in friendships, communication, love, family, and work? Who will measure whether we live up to some standard of conduct? Is there a reward? The truth is, there is a standard for life and there is great reward for a life who lives up to the standard.
The standard was set by God Himself when He met face-to-face with a man named Moses (The Bible, Exodus 19 and 20). The standard set forth was absolute holiness and the reward was provision and Heaven—an eternal resting place of immense joy and pure pleasure void of imperfection, lack, and pain.
Let’s be honest though, who can possibly score enough points to compete with perfect holiness? Who in their right mind could think they measure up? Who is arrogant enough to look God in the face and say, “I am just as good and righteous as You are, therefore let me into Heaven.” No one is worthy!
But what if someone ripped up the score card? What if someone came along and removed the power found in the standard of measurement? Instead of a score card that compared you to an unattainable righteous standard, you were granted a perfect score based on a mercy-rule from God Himself.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “What about the rules!?” If God created the standard of measurement, how can He change the standard and still be just? Well, because He is just He demanded someone get a perfect score in life and then painfully exchange his perfect score for the failure of everyone else. This person would have to trade his perfection for wickedness of humanity. Who could do such a thing?! This is the very reason Jesus came. He was the perfect Son of God, the only one worthy of such an exchange.
Scripture says Jesus was Immanuel, meaning “God with us” as the prophet Isaiah foretold (The Bible, Isaiah 7:17). He came to prove that He alone was worthy. He displayed what love and holiness looked like in the flesh. He openly displayed righteousness and the standard of Heaven. He never acted out violently against another man. He was never motivated by the lust for money. He abstained from all sex. He never lied. He wasn’t just a teacher or a prophet. He was perfect. He was the very seed of God, born of a virgin—He was and is the Son of God. He was unlike any other man that had ever walked the earth. Furthermore, Jesus proved He was right with God and performed supernatural signs, healings, resurrections, and wonders that verified His perfect standing with God.
After Jesus verified that He was righteous, He took things one step further. He so loved all of us who were unqualified, He ransomed His perfection for our acceptance—not based on our merit, but based on His.
This gift of love and grace ripped up the score card. It pulled down the unattainable standards of measurement. It demolished the score boards of Heaven that once calculated our failure, and now gave us free passage into the things of God again! Restoring the connection man once had with God in the Garden of Eden.
For anyone to imagine that any other person, prophet, leader, human, could grant us a way to Heaven is insanity. God Himself, is the only who is worthy and good. And only by His grace can we be accepted. And God has made it clear that grace is granted through Jesus Christ alone. He is the way, the truth, the life.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe [and trust in Him and acknowledge Him as God’s Son]. There is no distinction, since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] [grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:22-25 AMP).
Now, if God ripped up your score card on our life, why do so many still keep score on others and even themselves? The very moment we realize we need grace, is the very same instant we drop our ability to judge. We cannot judge and keep score on others for things we ourselves have been forgiven of. Freely you have received grace, so freely give it.