The Message (MSG)
“19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”
I really enjoyed this version of this verse, and the surrounding verses. I am so grateful for the way this read… “Christ’s life showed me how”. It’s hard to make our lives line up with His plan and His incredible grace for us, and to look like Him, to live like Him.
Everyday I am praying that the Lord gives me kindness instead of censure. That what comes from my mouth, would be pleasing to Him. If all I ever do, is honor Him, by living for Him, it will be enough. I used to try to work hard at things to please Him, and the more I did it, the more worn out, I became, He wasn’t my partner in my activities, so all the work I did was in vain. I am thankful for His love and mercy today. Aren’t you?