“cleansing their hearts by faith” Acts: 15:9
The Christian life doesn’t work. For many this thought is the undergirding premise of life. Many believers have done their best to live right and no matter how hard they tried, they never felt they were good enough. There’s a constant nagging sense something is missing. It feels as though after all these years, they should be further along.
Instead of feasting at the banquet table of the bridegroom and eating the fruit of the Spirit, they have choked on the bitter fruit of religion. We’ve mixed grace and law, swallowed the poison of legalism. The tragedy is this kind of poison won’t kill you, but it will keep you sick for the rest of your life.
Grace doesn’t grow in a wild field, it’s cultivated in an infinite garden of love, planted and nurtured by God Himself.
God extends grace for the purpose of rescuing us from a lifestyle of futile, feeble efforts to make ourselves acceptable to Him. To finally liberate us from believing that once we have jumped through enough hoops, God will give us the nod of approval.
Sadly, our acts of self-righteousness are what separate us from the goal of being accepted by God. Our best religious efforts kill any opportunity we have to experience genuine intimacy with God.
Religion holds out the false hope that there is something we can do to impress God enough to cause Him to love us. While we are busy looking for all the possible solutions to gain God’s approval, Jesus simply points to Himself. He alone is our finished work. He has rescued us from the need to earn and prove we are good enough.
It seems too good to be true. God expects nothing after He has delivered us from the grips of sin? No. Because He is good, we are good. Because He’s pure, we are pure. Because He lives, we also live.
In what ways are you trying to earn God’s approval?