Iím a pretty decent guy. Iíve never beaten my wife, abused my kids, or dishonored my parents-at least not since I was a teenager. I make an effort to love all people, and Iíve worked in numerous community organizations. I have a rich Christian heritage, and for most of my life have faithfully served God. Iíve visited the sick, prayed over the dying, preached funerals, and performed weddings. Surely all these tasks-along with numerous other honorable efforts, deserve Godís grace...or do they?
Paul probably felt the same. His accolades were impressive. Circumcised the eighth day, born into a pure-blooded Jewish family, a Pharisee, strict obedience to the Jewish law, persecutor of the churchÖ
Eventually he realized his trophies had nothing to do with receiving Godís grace. Even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief (I Timothy 1:13 NLT).
Godís grace is undeserved and unattainable by my good works. This element of Godís grace is difficult to accept because our culture ingrains us with a works rewards philosophy. I perform at my job and my employer hands me a paycheck. I run faster than my competitors, and I receive a trophy. God rewards with salvation but not for anything Iíve done.
God delivers his grace simply because he loves. I canít perform enough to earn it initially, nor can I obligate him thereafter to continue giving it. But his grace is also what sustains me. It carries me through tribulations, invigorates me for his work, and assures my eternity.
If youíve been performing good deeds hoping to earn Godís grace, change your philosophy by remembering itís a free gift given to all who ask.
Prayer: Thank You merciful Lord for giving us what we donít deserve: forgiveness, mercy, and a beautiful eternity. www.lovelinesfromgod.com
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