‘So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.’ (Romans 11:6)
‘Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
‘I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ (Galatians 2:21)
‘But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.’ (Ephesians 2:4-9)
‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.’ (Titus 3:5-7)
. . . . .
I have been a Christian for a number of years now, but I don’t think I have ever fully grasped the truth of grace – of God’s grace in saving me. I thought I understood it; I know that we are saved by grace not by works, I know there is nothing we can do that would deserve salvation, I know it is an undeserved and freely given gift. But I don’t think that I have been living that way.
I think that deep down I am still trying to earn my freely given salvation. I am still seeking to ‘pay God back’ for the love and forgiveness He has shown me.
I have noticed this recently as I have been receiving replies on this blog. Individuals have been lovingly reminding me that no matter what I am feeling right now, God loves me. They have been assuring me that it is okay for me to not have the words of thanks to bring to Him in prayer – He understands. As I have been reflecting on these kind words from others God has been showing me that I am still holding on to my own self-righteousness, good deeds and works. I put too much emphasis on my own seeking of God – my Bible reading, studying, listening to worship music, etc – and fail to simply rest in His presence…somewhat like a Pharisee.
So I am praying that God would be reminding me daily – no, hourly – that his grace is sufficient for me. That He loves me despite my deeds.
Praise God for His goodness!
(oh, and the title is a link to a little video that illustrates God’s grace)