Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 17, 2011

"...made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For 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. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:5-10

Despite your best efforts, salvation cannot be earned. Thank God, it doesn't have to be!

Likewise, neither can you earn a healthy sense of self-worth. Granted, doing things that matter is certainly better than doing bad things or doing nothing. But here is why it doesn't work. When you try to earn your salvation with good works you are never sure if you have done enough. Similarly, when you are trying to boost your sense of self-worth by doing good, how do you know if you have done enough? Do you depend on what others think of you? Do you compare yourself with someone who is doing less than you? Do you depend on titles earned or honors bestowed or educational level achieved or your financial status? How can you be sure that you matter enough?

The good news of salvation and of self-worth is the same - don't depend on what you can do, depend on what HE HAS DONE! It is His grace that saves you and it is His sacrifice that earned your forgiveness. Only His righteousness can make you right! Through His atoning death can you enter into a personal relationship with God and it is through your relationship with Him that you draw your value.

Grace means that you can enjoy what you haven't earned! Grace means you are elevated to right standing with God through what Christ did for you! You become a child of God and a joint heir with Christ! In other words, YOU MATTER!

Finding significance begins when you accept by faith what He has done for you! Once you have received His significance what you do matters! You are not saved BY good works but you are saved to DO good works.  In His grace you can begin extending that grace to others. You become more significant as you add significance to them.

It is what you do AFTER you accept what HE did that matters! It is what you do AFTER you receive His grace that makes you matter!