Saturday, November 23, 2013

YOU CAN'T WORK YOUR WAY TO HEAVEN; YOU CAN'T EARN THE FATHER'S LOVE

"For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not
of works, lest anyone should boast."
(Ephesians 2:8-9)

Recently I found myself falling into the trap of comparing myself to others and then feeling disheartened and condemned for never having done anything really selfless or sacrificial like home school my kids, or become a loved one's  caretaker, or gone on a missions trip, or done anything creative to better someone else's life.  

And then came a gentle reminder, through a devotional I was reading, that God loves me unconditionally, and I don't have to perform well in order to receive His love.  There is absolutely nothing I can do to make Him love me more or less.

John 3:16 tells us that "God so loved the world (you and me included) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  In fact, He loves us so much that even if you or I were the only person on this Earth, He would still have sent Jesus to die for our sins so we could be set free.

There is only one caveat.  As much as it is not God's will for anyone to perish, He will not impose it on us or force us to accept it.  He leaves that choice to us.

When I am overcome by feelings of falling short, or not measuring up, I find it very comforting to know that the only way to receive the gift of salvation is through faith.  It is not something I have to earn.