It was not through the law . . . but through the righteousness that comes by faith. (Rom 4:13)

FRIENDS OF MINE WHO LIVE in Israel tell me that many public buildings have a Sabbath elevator, one that can be set to stop automatically on every floor during the Sabbath. This way, riders can avoid pushing the button, which they believe would break the fourth commandment.

I am thankful that, as a Christian, I can know that scrupulously keeping the law doesn’t save me. Indeed, as a Western Christian, the Sabbath elevator seems a bit crazy to me. How could people think that God really cares whether or not they push a button on the Sabbath? Yet as I reflected on this, I began to wonder what I do that might be similarly crazy. Do I think that preaching a particularly good sermon somehow impresses God? Is He impressed by me being a good husband or father? If I think a Sabbath elevator is a little odd, then why am I so invested in my ability to please God by doing things well?

God invites me out of that craziness and tells me that the only way I can receive His promises is to have faith: the deep inner conviction that what is most real is not my goodness, but God’s. He invites me into the world of faith, simple trust that all things are from Him and all blessings come from following His way.

Say to God, “Thank you for loving me anyway.”

Michael Jordan is the dean of the chapel at Houghton College, where he also serves as chair of the Department of Biblical Studies, Theology and Philosophy.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.