The College Football Playoff Selection Committee revealed their rankings last night for the first time this season. Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, and Texas A&M were the top four teams. The Committee’s process to determine the rankings, and ultimately select who will compete in the Playoff, is fascinating. 

This group watches football all year long in pursuit of deciding how good certain teams are and how they compare to others. They consider strength of schedule, conference wins, dominating performances, comparative outcomes of common opponents, and conference strength. Of course, winning is important…but how you win, when you win, and who you win against are all factors.

Teams spend the entire season doing their best to be recognized and prove they are worthy to be selected by the committee for the final playoff, and for an opportunity to be the National Champion. It’s tough for teams like Washington and Louisville, who are on the outside looking in, wondering if they can do enough at this point to make it.

I think there is an interesting parallel to our own lives. I believe some of us view ourselves as a college football team, and God as the playoff committee. We think we can never do enough to be worthy of making it into His family, or we spend our whole lives trying to prove our own greatness.

Some of us have convinced ourselves that a “loss” earlier in life prevents us from having a strong enough resume for God to notice us. We may even believe that in order to get a higher “ranking” and love from God, we need to perform in a way that shows we are better than others.

I’m humbled and amazed that God’s grace doesn’t work that way. Because we can never do enough to earn salvation, that’s where Jesus comes in. He lived the perfect life, died on our behalf, and rose again so we can receive God’s grace and power into our hearts.

When we surrender to Him and understand it’s all about what’s been done for us and not about doing enough good works for Him to notice, we live freely – knowing we’ve already been selected.

In view of this amazing reality, our lives reflect the transformation Jesus is doing in us and through us. It does matter how we live, but we aren’t obeying God in order to be accepted. We are obeying Him because we’ve already been accepted.

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

College football fans are boasting today because their favorite team was given a certain ranking based on how well they’ve performed this year, according to the Selection Committee. As we think about this, let’s thank God that He offered us His grace through Jesus, and we don’t have to worry about being good enough to be selected or ever being left out. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I know that I’m not worthy of Your grace, but I thank you for sending Jesus to save me. I’m grateful I don’t have to perform because salvation is a free gift. Help me to remember this and live a life that is honoring to You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.