For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
In a Spirit-led life, our deeds are righteous. But they don’t belong to us. If I am a righteous man, it’s only because I have the blood of Jesus on me. If I live a righteous life and make the right decisions, it will be because Jesus is in me and works through me. I can’t boast about that.
I can’t do this without Him.
We feel like we need to control things. Maybe we even want to control other people. And as we know, when we try to do that, things go wrong.
I’ve given that up. In fact, I’ve given up my life — to Jesus Christ. You have to do that in order to live in grace. I don’t try to control my family. I prefer to live with them in grace. This is the basis for a true relationship with Jesus.
The Bible says that we love Jesus because He first loved us. So I don’t go to my wife and children and tell them to love and respect me. They will love and respect me when I first love and respect them.
If you try to control your family, they will fight you. If you only love them when they do certain things, or when they live a certain way, then you’ll have a battle on your hands. I think that is why it was so hard for us before Jesus came. You see the battle in the Old Testament. We had to live a certain way and act a certain way. We had to follow the Ten Commandments. It was too hard, and we could never do it, so we always had to make sacrifices to make up for our transgressions.
I think there was a plan all along. God saw that we wanted rules. We sent Moses up to Mt. Sinai because we wanted rules. Rules cause problems, but we wanted them, so God gave them to us. Then we had the law, and we couldn’t follow it. We broke it all the time! Then we had to offer sacrifices all the time, to make things right with Him. There were a lot of sacrifices!
To free us, God sent His Son to make the ultimate sacrifice. After that one perfect sacrifice, there was only one commandment. Love your neighbor as yourself, and love God. But we can only fulfill that one commandment through the blood of Jesus Christ. That’s why you can’t boast about the good things you do. You can’t say, “Look at me! I did this, and I did that.” Jesus is the only reason that you can do the good things you do.
When you can give up legalism and give your life up to Jesus, then His Spirit will live in you and through you. Then you will walk in grace. You won’t walk in condemnation. You won’t walk in judgment. You won’t walk in expectation. You’ll live your life in freedom, not bound by all those laws. You’ll be free to do the work God has prepared for you. You can truly love.
See you Monday.