Yesterday I thought of how often we make the gift of Jesus’ grace heavy. We feel that there is something we have to do to win His love and acceptance! And then last night I read the following passage from Paul M. Geisler’s book, Be Set Free…
Do you think that God’s expectations of you are a heavy burden? Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). His yoke is easy and his burden is light. This is what it’s like to live under grace. He does not put the heavy weight of the law on you but rather removes it. Have you experienced the lightness of Jesus’ burden?
Since it is not our good works that restored our fellowship with God in the first place, it is not our good works that keeps God happy with us. Paul says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that so no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is entirely a gift that we humbly receive, realizing that we were spiritually powerless to achieve it ourselves. This is why Jesus said that we must enter the Kingdom of Heaven like little children. He is talking about the humility of a child and that we need that kind of humility to receive such a large gift.
It takes humility to receive something when we know we can’t pay it back. We are at the mercy of the gift giver. It takes humility to receive Jesus’ gift because we have to acknowledge that we were in a powerless state to get righteousness on our own…
Paul M. Geisler began a thought that I would like to consider. If we were humble enough to realize that we could not earn our own righteousness when we were saved, then why are so many of us caught in the performance trap of trying to earn it now? Could it be pride? It is certainly not humility which takes on that heavy burden. The performance trap says, “Jesus, now that you saved me, I can handle this.” Guilt and shame, which were crucified with Christ, rise up and urge, “now pay and make things right,” when Jesus has already paid and made things right. Salvation is free. It is a gift, and your Savior, the spotless and perfect Lamb of God, has already paid the price for your freedom.
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