Not What We Deserve

October 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Jeremiah, Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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Recently a candidate for political office responded to his party’s nomination with an acceptance speech. A key theme of this speech was the idea of entitlement. Or, to put it another way, “getting what you deserve.” In this relatively short speech, the words “deserved” and “deserve” were used nine times.

-“hope and change…is what Americans deserved
-“You deserved it because you worked harder…”
-“You deserved it because… [you] put in longer hours”
-“You deserve it because your family depended on you.”
-“We deserve better.”
-“my children deserve better”
-“my family deserves better”
-“my country deserves better”
-“Our children deserve it [a better future].”

Now, I realize that not everyone who reads this will be a Christian, or even believe the Bible. But if you are truly a Christian nothing should horrify you more than the idea of “getting what you deserve.” Christians are supposed to understand that what each and every person born into this world “deserves” is the wrath of the holy God. I know we like to pretend that we’re basically good people, but we’re not. We are all sinners.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:10-12

When some politician stands up and starts telling you that you “deserve” hope, or change for the better, or a fair chance, or even a second chance, you had better reject that message as vain deceit.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Ephesians 5:6

You do not “deserve” good things – no matter how hard, or how many hours, you work. Neither our families, nor our country, nor the children that God has entrusted to our care deserve any blessing whatsoever. Our culture, our government, our schools, our homes, and, sadly, even our churches are not “worthy” of any sort of a better future. We are corrupt, wicked, and wretchedly sinful. That is Bible theology 101 – whether we like it or not!

As a Christian, I want absolutely no part of what I “deserve.” What I want is grace and mercy. If you ever hear someone even hinting that God’s blessings, His love, and His mercy and grace are things that you deserve, flashing red lights and loud blaring warning sirens should immediately be exploding behind your eyeballs. Grace and mercy – by definition – happen when God gives us what we DO NOT deserve and withholds from us what we DO deserve.

The same speech referenced above contained this sentence: “You deserved it because you worked harder than ever before during these years.” How un- (if not anti-) Christian! Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, and all sorts of other denominations and false religions believe that you can “earn” your way into God’s favor, but Biblical Christianity deals in truth. We had better start proclaiming the truth of what is going to happen to those to whom God gives a “recompense” (what they deserve) rather than grace and mercy.

For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.

Jeremiah 16:17-18 (emphasis added)


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  1. […] In America we love to talk about our “rights” and entitlements – that we think we deserve as individuals. But that’s a false view of freedom. Real freedom comes when we become so […]

  2. […] is when God gives us what we do not deserve. Mercy is when God withholds from us what we do deserve. Any time we are in danger, we are […]

  3. […] But here’s the deal: I didn’t choose to be an American. It just so happened that God arranged it so I would be born here. I didn’t have to work hard to earn my citizenship. I didn’t have to swim across a river, sail across an ocean, hike through a forest, or even pass a written exam. Being American – like everything else in my life – is a blessing I did not deserve. […]

  4. […] is a Bible truth about God’s mercy: No one deserves it. It wouldn’t be mercy if it was […]

  5. […] came to David the king. Nathan told him about a man who had been blessed by God with more than he deserved. However, this rich man was covetous, and he took a fancy to something that God had given to a poor […]

  6. […] my spouse any more, and I don’t think my spouse really loves me. I’m miserable, and I deserve to be happy. I just want to get out and start over. Can you give me one good reason not to get […]

  7. […] Loving parents strive to avoid spoiling their children. True Christian faith is not demanding what you deserve. It is enduring with patience, courage, and dependence upon God, knowing that this world is not […]

  8. […] Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence. […]

  9. […] because, as the only image-bearing rebels and traitors in the universe, what we really “deserve” from God is eternal punishment and conscious torment. It is unwise to think our sin is […]

  10. […] – to make it something new. Either way, He is not unjust. Useless clay doesn’t “deserve” to be made […]

  11. […] use it up, then, having fooled themselves into thinking the goodness of it was self-generated or deserved, turn inward to find a replacement which would only them back outward to anything but the real […]

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