Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Insane Grace

If God asked you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” What would you answer?

Any answer other than faith in Jesus is useless. What we’ve done or who we are is useless. All our accomplishments, our education, our generosity, our good intentions, none of these will help us when the time of accounting has arrived.

Good deeds or good intentions can’t solve the problem of our sinful nature.

Who we are, not what we’ve done is the problem. We do not love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Our sin nature keeps us from doing that. Just like bandages won’t cure cancer, the bandage of trying to be good won’t cure our corrupt nature. Only God’s grace that brought about Jesus’ sacrifice will create the opportunity to receive forgiveness for our sins.

Eph. 2:8,9 says, “For it is by grace that you have been saved - through faith, and this not from yourselves. It is the gift of God, not by good works, so that no one may boast.”

It’s not the good things that we can do for God but the good that He did for us that provides for our salvation.

Imagine this. You go to a “friends” house for the weekend. You’re treated with respect and consideration. All the food and drink and entertainment has been provided. The conversation is great, the company interesting. It’s a good time. As you pack up on Sunday evening for the trip home, you pack some extremely valuable rings and necklaces that belong to your host. They are worth at least $80,000. You think to yourself, ‘She’ll just think it was someone at the party who took it. I’m a friend. She’ll never think it’s me.’ On the way home the police stop you for a traffic violation. Your conscience causes you to act in a guilty manner. Your forehead beads with sweat and your jugular is pulsing rapidly. The police search the vehicle. As they examine the jewellery in your suitcase they see that a couple items have the owners name engraved on them. You claim these items were a gift but it’s a lousy attempt at lying and they can tell. As the police return you and the jewels to your friend’s place she has three options available.

. She can reclaim the items that you’ve stolen and press charges

. She can reclaim the items and NOT press charges, or

. She can say, “Officer, I don’t want to lay charges. I want my friend to have these things. In fact my friend can have all that I own. Let me go and get the rest.”

She chooses option number three.

That is grace. Undeserved generosity.

How would you respond?

All of us stand before God as absolutely guilty for abusing God’s love and generosity.

Jesus has made possible total and undeserved forgiveness. It’s ours to accept or reject.

Rather than conditional love, Christianity tells us about unconditional, unearned, undeserved love. Because of this we don’t have to pretend that we’re good when we’re not. God knows the worst about me and loves me anyway.

I am more sinful than I ever dreamed possible, but I’m also loved more than I could have ever hoped.

We haven’t paid for it, have no need to pay for it, and in fact can’t pay for our forgiveness.

We only have to accept it.

If you were to die tonight and God asked, Why should I let you into heaven, could you answer, “Because I’ve accepted the forgiveness offered to me through Your Son, Jesus Christ?”

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