He’s A Good Boy……Not!
Read Ephesians Chapter 2
Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I’m going to make a bold statement. The Christian who rarely reads and studies his bible will NOT have any real understanding of grace. He may know that he is saved by grace and not of works, but his understanding of just how important grace is to him will be severely limited. I put forth that idea based upon my own experience. Let me explain.
I have read and studied God’s word for pretty much all of the last fifty years. But it has only been within the last ten years that study morphed into a deep, serious, meditative study of His word. Over the past ten years, I have learned more than I had learned in all of the previous forty years. And oh, by the way, I haven’t even scratched the surface as yet. The further I go, the more I realize how little I know. Now back to the main point. Over the past ten years, I have seen scripture after scripture passage which has reminded me how far short I fall from God’s perfect plan. Gee, it’s no wonder that most Christians are reluctant to intently study the word. It is way too convicting. It can make us feel badly about ourselves. But it can also bring a person to more fully appreciate grace.
Almost every day that I meditate upon scriptures, I see some area of my walk with God that is woefully inadequate! I don’t love others as I should. I’m not as good a husband as I need to be. My faith is extremely weak at times. My good intentions regarding resisting temptation can easily crumble when confronted by the enemy’s wiles. I worry and entertain anxieties when I know I am commanded to cease from fretting and worrying. I could add a hundred more examples of just how poorly I execute and apply the instructions from His word to my daily life. I certainly hope that I have never given anyone the impression that I’ve got it all together. I don’t!!
That’s where grace comes into play. The more I read, study, and meditate upon God’s word, the more I realize that grace is my only hope. No matter how hard I attempt to improve on every area of my life, trying to conform to God’s admonitions, I fall short. I can even point to several areas of life where vast improvement has been made. But even that is no consolation, for I will never be perfect in any of those things. The more we know about God’s word, the more we know that grace is our only hope.
Lk 7:41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
I truly believe that the Christian who doesn’t spend much time in God’s word isn’t as aware of his need for grace as is the one who diligently studies the bible, searching it on order to know the truth more perfectly. There was a time when I believed myself to be a fairly good Christian. I no longer think that way. I’m a real mess in comparison to where my life needs to be. I know that more than ever before.
Note the passage from Luke. “Neither of them had the money to pay him back.” Well, none of us have the “money” to pay Him back. None of us have the ability to live up to everything God asks of us. We have to continually improve, growing spiritually, working out our salvation, etc., but we cannot achieve the sinless perfection which is required of us. We are required to strive for it, but not count on it for our salvation. We must be given an endless supply of grace.
Prayer: Lord, help me! The more I learn, the less I think of myself. But, that brings me to Your throne of grace more often, and in more sincerity. I guess that’s why we all need to know Your word. Give us the desire to sit at Your feet more often and to be willing to “take our lumps” as You reveal truth to us. Thank You for grace, for without it………..never mind. I’m just grateful for it. Thank You!!