I know I am saved by grace. However, the truth of Ephesians 2:8 – “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” somehow seems to evade me from time to time. And then one day I wake up realizing that I’ve been working for the love of God. Truth shouldn’t be so hard to believe, after all it’s truth! It should be harder to believe a lie than to believe truth, but time after time we believe the lie instead of the truth.
The absolute truth – no if’s, ands or buts - is that God’s grace is a gift. We don’t earn it EVER. There are times we may feel good about our relationship with God, but it still doesn’t mean we’ve earned some amount of favor. We’ve got all the favor we need. The truth that we have to embrace if we are really going to live by grace is found in Galatians 4:4-7, where we are called sons (and daughters) of God:
“when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”
If this truth never takes hold in our belief system, what we end up doing is reverting back to what we knew before we encountered God’s grace: A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LAW. We then look for approval based upon our actions and our ability to keep all the rules. It feels good for a while, but always ends up empty. I much prefer to live by grace, knowing that my Daddy loves me. I get all the approval I need from Him, PLUS He gives me His Spirit to live in me an enable me to live the life I couldn’t live according to the Old Testament Law!
Living life to the full can only be accomplished through living life FROM the love of God. Never by living FOR the love of God. In the same way that I am a product of my parent’s love, I am also a product of my God’s love. Well maybe a little different, but who I am is very a much a result of each of their loving acts on my behalf. The father was willing to give up His own son Jesus, so that I could become a son of God. How great is that. I began this journey FROM love the moment I put my hope and trust in the Triune God!