Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.
Thoughts for Today:In our laundry room hangs a chart for Amanda (our eight year old daughter) which reflects her various household responsibilities. It serves not only as a reminder of what needs to be done each day (make your bed, brush and floss your teeth, read for thirty minutes, etc.), but also as a system of reward for accomplishing each task within the prescribed time period. As far as Amanda is concerned, the money she receives as weekly allowance or privilege she gains -- is not a gift, it is a right -- an obligation which we owe to her for her work and obedience.
This is the point Paul makes in our passage today: If a man works -- his wages are not a gift, but an obligation. The same would be true of righteousness: If our efforts (whether through obedience, sacrifice, etc.), were the reason for our salvation, then God would owe us salvation. But that is not the case. Righteousness is a gift from God -- all we must do is believe Him.
Questions to Ponder:Many Christians feel the more we do (serve, pray, etc.) will create an obligation which God owes. Have you ever felt that way? For example, "I prayed for three hours this morning, God owes me something really good today." Or, "I did this for you today what are you going to do for me?" God owes us nothing. We are all sinners and deserve punishment for our transgressions. What we do in the Lord's name should be an expression of our Love of Him and gratitude for what He has already done for us. God is a debtor to no man. Do you have the right perspective on the works you do for the Lord?