Monday, March 7, 2011

A+ student?

“I just to know what God wants from me.”

Have you or a friend every said that? I have. It's good to want to do God's will, but sometimes we do it with the wrong motivation. We often feel like we need to please God, and that He is disappointed in us if we don’t measure up. We need to do such-and-such, or God will be angry with us.

Sometime, we act like He’s a big school teacher.

If we show up for class, do well on the quizzes, and turn in all the assignments, then God will be happy with us. We’ll get an A. However, if we slack off and don’t do good work, God will be angry with us and give us a F. We aren’t as good enough. The A students make God happy, but God is disappointed in the F students.

Is this statement true? Does God really grade us? Of course not. His love for us never changes. His commitment to love us in not limited on our actions. If we are good, He loves us. If we are bad, he loves us just as much. John 3:16, “For God so loves the world.” Not just the good people. Not just the Christian. Not just the A+ plus students. He loves the world.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saved by Grace

“How could so-and-so be a Christian? She’s in jail for drugs!”

Have you ever heard something like this? I have. Sadly, several times. Have you heard this one: “He’s so nice, he must be a Christian.” Again, I’ve heard that one too. Both statements are based on the same false assumption; Christians must do good deeds.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying to stop doing good things; I’m saying our actions don’t define our salvation. Scripture is very clear on this.

Galatians 2:16&20
We know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

I think Paul is very clear here. We cannot be justified through obeying the law. We can’t be justified by doing good deeds. That last part of the verse is interesting: ‘Christ died for nothing.”
When we try to earn our salvation, we’re rejecting what Jesus did on the cross. We’re saying His sacrifice wasn’t good enough; we still need to live a good life. We’re rejecting His grace and His gift; it’s not enough. We’re, in short, saying, “thanks, but no thanks.”

Let’s not trade the precious gift of grace for man’s fumble attempts of trying to be good.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Just You

What can you give God? What is something you have that He doesn’t? You can’t give Him stuff; He created everything. He can make whatever He wants. You can’t give Him money; He owns that too. We can’t work hard enough; He can do it Himself. So what can we give Him?
You can give Him yourself. He wants you.

In the parable of the prodigal son, the father waited for the son’s return. He watched for his son, waiting hopefully. When the son returned, the father was overjoyed and joyfully welcomed the son back home.

God is always overjoyed when He has us. He rejoices when He has you. He just wants you. When the prodigal son returned, he didn’t have any money, or cloths, or anything of value. The father didn’t care; all he wanted was his son.

God doesn’t want your money or your stuff; He just wants you. You are His child, and He is longing to be with you. He doesn’t care if you don’t have anything else to give Him, or if you’re dirty; He just wants you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The More I learn

The more I learn about God, the more I see how perfect He is. The more I see how perfect He is, the more I see how sinful I really am. The more I see how sinful I am, the more I see how much I desperately need His grace.