You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of (Ephesians 2:8-9, Common English Bible).
I love Reverend Fun cartoons. They are always so really spot on with their theology but at the same time, they do it with humor. I try to check in on Reverend Fun whenever I can because I usually walk away with both a good laugh and something to think about all rolled up in a quick, easy to read comic that again, is very thought-provoking.
When I was looking for a picture to use with today’s verse, I ran across this one. It was done more than 10 years ago, but most of Reverend Fun’s cartoons are timeless. This still points to the great truth that Jesus is God’s gift to the world and that evil will try to convince all of us that such is not the case.
But, when we believe, when we start to study the Scriptures, we come to realize the importance of grace. We begin to know that it isn’t about us. I ran across another cartoon while I was searching. Take a look at this one.
For so many of us, at least in the beginning, we think we can get right with God by the things we do, by living right, by showing up at church not only for worship but for work. We are going to justify our salvation by working hard. Working hard may make your boss happy. I know I am always happy with a hard working subordinate. It will not, however, make your God happy, at least no if your works are an attempt to buy your way in. You can’t earn it.
You can’t earn it, but you do have to believe it. Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have eternal life” (John 3:16, Keith’s Paraphrased Version). That belief is faith and because of your faith, God gives you grace.
That guy on the left has no chance. You can work yourself to death. Without faith, it will get you nowhere. But when you believe, when you have faith, you have gotten God’s attention.
Because of your faith, faith in Jesus Christ (or as the devil in the Reverend Fun cartoon put it, “God’s gift to the world”), God gives you the free gift of grace.
But, get this, you didn’t really do anything for your faith except taking another free gift from God. Paul lists the gift of faith as one of the “Gifts of the Spirit” in 1 Corinthians 12. That means nothing comes from us.
To use an analogy, here is how it works. Let’s say I have a $100 bill. I come up to you and offer you the money. You are skeptical of my motivations but I tell you it is a free gift from me to you. You did nothing to earn the money. What is left for you is, to accept or reject the gift I offer to you.
The same thing applies to the gifts of faith and grace. God offers them to us. It is up to us to decide if we will accept these gifts from God.
Take the gift. God really wants to give it to you. Plus, no matter what you do, you will never earn it. So take the gift and then thank God for giving you something so special.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved