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.
—Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
The grace of Jesus saved you—nothing you do to make yourself better can save you. No work you try to do—no relationship you try to fix—nothing you try to rid from your life can save you. Only the grace of Jesus has the power to set you free. You have been saved by faith—by believing in Jesus Christ. Salvation is not a reward for what you do. You can’t take credit for it! It is a gift from Jesus.
Do we seek credit and don’t even realize it? Looking for someone’s approval, do we try hard to hear a “well done” from someone who isn’t the Lord? We strive for man’s opinion when God has already declared us worthy by the gift of His life for ours. When someone strives this way, it can become self-righteous. That quickly can become self-satisfaction, piety, complacency, and smugness. And then here comes pride.
When we finally realize that our precious Savior has freely given us His righteousness, we experience love and acceptance in our relationship with God. We have nothing to prove. Yes, we are called to live righteously but that comes by knowing who we are in Him. We don’t have to win His grace. He gave it freely when we believed by faith.
Don’t live in fear of God. You don’t have to win His approval. He approved of you when He sent His only Son to give His life for you. God cannot be your Abba Father and also someone who punishes you each time you fall down. That is contrary to who He is! And God doesn’t change. Jesus gave you His Father as your own when He took your sin to the Cross. And your Father loves you.
God inspires you to be more than you are now—to always reach for a deeper relationship with Him. When you seek Him, you shall find His love growing, strengthening, and empowering you. Then what you do is born of faith and not of yourself.
God wants to change you with His grace. He wants His power to make the changes. Allow Him to transform what He wishes and realize that He has already approved of you on the Cross. You don’t have to prove yourself with Him. When a child knows he is loved, he realizes that when he fails, he is still loved. And that is your Abba Father. When you know you are loved and you fail, you know that your Father still loves you. The relationship Jesus died to give you with God is finished. That love is yours.
© 2020 Lynn Lacher