His Mercy, Not My Goodness

(Formerly under the Devotions tab)

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” Ephesians 2:7-10.

People like to be in control of their relationships. They also like to control the relationship with God. They don’t want to feel any sense of obligation; they don’t want to feel powerless or needy; they hate to beg; and they want to accumulate heavenly capital so they can relax and actually count on God to perform for them when needed.

People think they can gain that sense of security by observing religious rituals, making appropriate financial donations, and striving to obey the rules. While all those things are good, they are useless in solving the first and greatest problem, our sinful hearts, and makes us unfit for heaven. All our good deeds can’t erase even one of our sinful deeds.

Apostle Paul thought he was a model citizen. It came as a massive shock that the good relationship with God that he craved came from God’s mercy, not his own virtue. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy”, 1 Timothy 1:12,13.

Where does peace with God come from? Don’t look at your works. Look at Christ’s. Your Heavenly capital was earned through his suffering, death, and resurrection. Let him give it to you.

Let’s pray: Heavenly God, I keep thinking that I control myself and I am wrong about it. I keep thinking that I am only hurting myself and I am wrong about that too. I keep thinking that it is ok to hide certain things from you. It fails. Please make me clean and righteous with the blood of your Son, Jesus. I want to walk straight with you. I want to stay inside of the promises that you made to me and the joy that you said I could have. Thank you for keeping me free. Please clean out my mind and my past sins. Thank you for giving me power over Satan and his servants. I owe you all of my love and devotion. I am yours, Father God! Amen!

Joe Fabean

  • All Scripture from the Message paraphrase, 2002
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