What Part of Perfect Don’t You Understand? – Today’s Youth Devotion

What Part of Perfect Don’t You Understand?

Bible Reading: Romans 3:10-20

No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what his law commands. Romans 3:20

YOU STRUT into Spanish class wearing a triumphant smirk. Your first exam is due back from the teacher today, and you’re sure you aced it big-time. But when your teacher, Mr. Chalupa, drops the paper on your desk, you slap your hand over your mouth to keep from crying out in horror. The word “Fail” is scrawled across your pa­per. Leafing through the test, you find only one tiny mistake. Your teacher has a rep­utation for being tough, but this is ridiculous.

You storm up to his desk. “Mr. Chalupa, I could understand an A-or maybe a B.  But how can you fail me for one picky little mistake?”

The teacher points a bony, accusing finger at you. “The ‘picky little mistake’ wasn’t the only error on your paper,” he says. “You were required to write your an­swers on narrow rule paper; you used wide rule. Besides, I only give passing grades to members of the National Honor Society who have memorized the Encyclopedia Britannica. Didn’t you read the class rules?”

You vaguely remember receiving on the first day of class a thirty-page, single-spaced document printed in Spanish. You used the pages to line the bottom of your parakeet’s cage. “Uh, not yet, sir,” you say. ”I’ll start today.”

“Don’t bother,” Mr. Chalupa snarls. “You can’t pass my class without passing all my exams, and you already failed the first one. Better luck next year.”

Would you walk out of Mr. Chalupa’s class feeling a little hopeless? Try totally hopeless! This teacher’s standards are way out of reach. It’s obvious that pleasing Mr. Chalupa by obeying his rules is impossible.

Hopefully you don’t have teachers as tough and unreasonable as Mr. Chalupa.  But that’s what you’re up against if you try to please God by obeying his rules. It can’t be done. The point isn’t that God’s rules are unreasonable, but that keeping them perfectly is unreachable. No one can go through life without committing one little sin, and the Bible says, “The person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God’s laws” (James 2:10).

Is God as heartless as Mr. Chalupa? No way! God didn’t give his commandments to make you fail. His standards only prove that you need another way to come to him. A way to please him that doesn’t depend on your performance. And a way where you can’t fail!

REFLECT: One of the first steps to trusting God is admitting you can’t perfectly keep all of his rules. Do you really believe that?

PRAY: God, thank you for providing a way to yourself through the sacrificial death of your own Son, Jesus.