It is amazing how quickly we can religiously shift from the prodigal son, being loved on by God to the elder brother, doing all the right things for God but missing the party. Or we can move from sitting at the feet of Jesus like Mary in adoring worship, to taking on the Martha spirit that was distracted from enjoying Jesus to thinking she had to work for Him. ~ Ken Helser
Aren’t these words such a powerful reminder of the ridiculous trap of performance or earning or working we so easily get caught up in? I don’t know about you, but it has been a sick dance that I have repeatedly chosen. Maybe you know the one? Sway to the goodness of His love and turn in shame so then quick step into proving my worth. Or spin in grace and misstep in lies. Fall down in defeat and then be lifted high in His strength. It’s madness I know.
Maybe I’m wrong but I’m certain that I can’t be that far off. Don’t you think the enemy of this world entraps us with our painful childhoods or broken marriages or abusive relationships to confuse our wounded hearts and tormented minds so that we miss the bloodshed love? I mean we can stand among the body of Christ week after week and yet, still miss the power of the cross. We can sing to the top of our lungs in adoration of His sacrifice and yet walk out the doors unchanged, still performing. Still earning. Still missing that our debt was paid and we are unconditionally loved. We have been justified.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 2:20-21
Wow. Way to drop the mic Paul. Did you read that? I mean really read it. “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” The law, trying, working, earning isn’t what saves us. None of it makes us loved by the King of this world. Maybe we think it impresses others or that we are paying for what we’ve done but it isn’t what makes us righteous or justified or loved. We have to stop walking into the trap of a mindset that obedience produces our justification. Salvation is found when we humbly and thankfully accept God’s grace. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s too good to be true and that my friends is the problem.
We live in a world of selfishness and pain. We see evil and experience hurt. Our family betrays us and our spouses walk out. Our children turn away and our health fails. Money runs out and churches argue. It’s sinful and it’s real. And it has all misconstrued the freedom found in just accepting that we have been bought with a price. The blood of Christ. And, He did it because we are chosen and loved. Let us not nullify the grace of God but instead, live in it. Day in and day out. Believe that your faith in Christ is enough. You are loved completely and wholly and you have been justified by faith.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree – so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14
Christ did all the work to cover our sins and prove our worth when he hung on a tree and blood ran red. There’s nothing we need to do good enough. There’s no work to be done or nothing we can do by mistake or sinful choice that will remove His love, our eternity. Nothing. We have to believe that it’s not about anything we’ve done or we need to get done but what Christ did on the cross. Period.
I don’t know what it is that the enemy is condemning you with today and trying to force you to believe that you’ve failed yet again but don’t believe him. There’s not a list of rules long enough that compares to the blood of Christ, not one. So stop trying. The work has already been done. I know it’s hard. Our bent is to perform or prove or earn or show or try. The brokeness of this world and of our hearts have clouded our view of the cross. But beloved, it’s time we take God at His word and we really believe what we say we believe. That “the burden of the curse has been lifted by Christ’s work on the cross.”
Today, let us let go of our need to prove our worth and simply rest in the love of Christ. Today, it’s time to repent and then soak up the grace He died to give. Today, let us not nullify the work that has been done by a crucified Savior and our Risen King but believe that we are justified by our faith in Him and that we are unconditionally loved, through and through.
Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law,for the righteous shall live by faith. Galatians 3:11