By Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries
The complete story of Jesus Christ - which began before the creation of the world and continues for all eternity - is a love story whose central theme is grace; "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). The moment we believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sin, God looks upon us with love and welcomes us into His Family - this is His gift of Salvation! This means our Salvation is never something we earn or deserve - it is a gift of grace.
"And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace."
If we come before our Heavenly Father thinking we can do ANYTHING which makes us deserving of Salvation, then we do not yet understand - we are not yet prepared to receive His gift. God's grace is either complete or it is no longer grace. His grace is extended to all who believe, but true belief means believing His grace is absolutely necessary AND completely sufficient.
If we truly believe, our life will produce fruit and we will do good works; "Faith, if not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17). But our good works will never save us - Salvation is a gift. If we truly believe, we will desire to obediently follow; "We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands" (1 John 2:3). But our obedience will never save us - Salvation is a gift.
If we've never settled the issue of Salvation, then today is the day to "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). We must come before God with empty hands, acknowledge our sin and need for a Savior, and receive the gift of grace offered through Jesus.
As we then continue our walk with Christ, we learn to love Him with all our heart and strive to present our very best, bringing Him glory and honor in ALL we do. But while we walk, love, and strive, we must remember that our "best" is not what earns His favor. Our "successes" will not make us more worthy, and our "failures" will not cause us to lose His love. His gift is everything! Let's give Him everything in return as we continue to live each moment of this wondrous journey by trusting in His grace.
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