For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
We set goals and try to motivate ourselves with small steps, check lists, and rewards along the way. We teach our children to delay gratification, equipping them for long-term success. We buy self-improvement books, gym memberships, and are eager for advice on how to better manage our finances and lives. Similarly, we dislike asking for help or accepting handouts. When someone does something nice for us, instead of enjoying their kindness, it’s easy to start thinking of ways to repay them.
When we come to Jesus, we realize that the most important thing cannot be earned; the greatest gift can never be repaid. The truth is that nothing we do can add to or take away from the gift of salvation and a relationship with God. This is a difficult concept to grasp in our culture of self-sufficiency. Accepting this gift opens our hearts to God. As we meditate on His gentle kindness and mercy in the life and sacrifice of Christ, our thankfulness grows; and we are filled with joy. Today, thank God for His gifts and rest in the peace of accepting His provision.
The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation.
Charles H. Spurgeon