There is something unique about us as humans that causes us to want to earn everything we have. I am not sure this is entirely negative, after all, Adam is told to work the garden in Genesis 2, and Paul tells the church of Thesalonica, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” However, the extreme of this desire is that we become proud and think we are self-sufficient. As Charlie Daniels says in his 1974 hit song, Long Haired Country Boy, “I ain’t asking nobody for nothin’ If I can't get it on my own.” We want to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and we often miss who gave us those bootstraps.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is antithetical to this belief because the gospel proves we cannot earn anything. There is nothing anyone can do to earn favor with God. Salvation is a gift extended which we accept through faith. God knew we could not earn anything from him so he tells the Ephesians, “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Epehsians 2:8-9)
Do you find yourself trying to earn God’s favor or attention instead of resting in the knowledge that he freely gives it? Are your spiritual disciplines (reading your Bible, prayer, attending church, etc.) practiced because you are trying to appease God and get something from him? If so, that is not freedom. Paul says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
Our motivation for our spiritual disciplines ought to be that we get to enjoy God. God does not love you more because you read your Bible or come to church. He loves you because he loves you. As a response to that love we should desire to be with him and enjoy him, leading us to spend time with him in prayer, loving our neighbors, Bible reading, meditating on Scripture, and congregational worship.
Be free, my friends. You are not earning God’s favor. Ask the Lord to reveal your motivations for meeting with him. God loves you and wants to bless you. He takes pleasure when we enjoy him. Sit silently in his presence, not doing anything.
Pastor Michael Covey
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4
When All Seems to Crumble
Decorations of Christmas
Colors of Christmas
The Holy Spirit Fills You
The Son Denies Himself To Give You Life
Thank the Father
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
"Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
"name of the Father and of the Son and of Holy Spirit
Of All Nations
"Go and Make"
Why Were We Created?
Spiritual Discipline of Celebration
Spiritual Discipline of Confession
Spiritual Discipline of Silence and Solitude
Spiritual Discipline of Simplicity
Spiritual Discipline of Fasting
Spiritual Discipline of Meditation
Freedom, part 3.
Freedom, part 2.
Fear, part 4.
Fear, part 3.
Fear, part 2.
Fear, part 1.
God is for you.
Hold on to the truth