Friday, March 15, 2013

Saved By Faith, Not Works

Ephesians 2:8-9 -- "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."

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How often do you find yourself doing something because it is expected of you? How often to you buy that shirt, purse, jeans, car, or house because it is what is how you are expected to look? How often do you volunteer for that committee because it looks good to your friends? How often do you read the Bible or attend church just because it is the right thing to do?

Now I am not knocking any of these activities. They are all good in their own time. It is pleasant to buy clothes and everyone needs a house and car of some sort. And It is always a good idea to read the Bible and go to church. My point is, if we are simply acting "Christian" then what difference does it make? Our actions are important, they are an outward showcase of what is going on in our heart. However, our motives and attitude behind what we do is more important. God does not save us by our actions, but by our faith.

Even if we are doing everything for God and doing all the right things, it is still not the same as having a relationship with God. We can read the Bible, go to church and still be carrying around a cracked cistern and not even realize it. Sometimes we get into such a routine of living for God that we forget to talk to God. And more importantly we forget to listen. We can check bible study off our list at the end of the day and week, or Sunday school, or church service, or even choir practice, or leading children's school. But are we focusing on God during those activities? Honestly, not always.

Our salvation is not something we can earn with good actions that we can boast about and feel accepted by our friends and our Christian community, it is a gift from God. How well do you know our merciful and generous God? Have you heard from Him lately? Are you listening to see if He is speaking to you now?

Dear Lord,
Help me to not fall into routine. When I do, open my eyes to recognize it and call upon You to set me free from idol works and to rest in You in faith.

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