What is the "currency" we sometimes attempt to buy God's favor with? It seems built into the very nature of man to want to pay for God's grace. It may be our good deeds or devotion. It may be any assortment of noble or religious behavior designed to impress God with our goodness. Call it pride or self-sufficiency, but getting something for nothing when we know we don't deserve it just doesn't seem right, so we tend to automatically reach into our "spiritual pockets" for some kind of currency to pay God for His grace until we discover it is of no use, we may as well be offering him a wooden nickel.
As long as we attempt to pay Almighty God with our own currency in order to get what we think we deserve, the job of his Holy Spirit will be to convince us exactly what it is we actually do deserve, which is God's righteous judgment. We will never learn to rest in Jesus when we are striving to save ourselves. The prophet Isaiah wrote "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away," (Isaiah 64:6 ESV).
Consider how we would never try to pay a friend or a family member who loved us for a gracious gift. Instead, we would receive their gifts with open hands, and thank them for their generosity. But if they were strangers to us, and we had not yet learned to trust them, we would find it quite difficult to receive from them freely.
In like manner, if we do not trust that Jesus' sacrifice is sufficient to satisfy God's holy demands, we will find it quite difficult to receive His gift of salvation freely - but that is precisely what God requires us to do. His invitation is clear: "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!" "Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant," (Isaiah 55 verses 1a & 3 ESV).
God's promise is sure: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life," (John 3:16 KJV).
This is a saving grace that cannot be bought. It is possible when we turn from sin and unbelief (repent), and believe the good news of salvation.
Christ has accomplished everything needed to save our souls from judgment, and to live a life pleasing to God. When we believe His word, receiving Jesus Christ into our lives freely as Savior and Lord, we experience His all surpassing grace. For "as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name," (John 1:12 KJV).
Original copyright 2012 Revised 2015
Toni Babcock is author of The Stone Writer, Christian Fiction for Young Readers and Teens
Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com
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