Do you ever find it difficult to receive gifts – to let a friend pay for dinner, to get furniture from Freecycle, or to accept money from a family member, for example?
What about with God? Are we happy to simply receive God’s approval, rather than trying to earn it? Do we ever read our Bible, pray, do evangelism, give money, in order to try to make God accept us? Do we ever think we’re right with God because we’re a particular type of person, or because we do particular things?
The wonderful but difficult message of Romans 4:1-12 is that our right standing before God comes not through good works or through being part of the right family – we could never earn or deserve it – but as a gift, through faith.