Grace to Believe

 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

Paul closes every one of his letters to the church with an appeal for God’s grace to be with us. How important is that? In the end, it comes down to this one thing, the grace of God. Without the grace of God in our lives we are just going to mess up this whole thing on earth. God’s grace protects us from going too far, either to the right or the left. It keeps us walking the narrow road that leads to eternal life.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9

Grace is about the power to live a godly life in the midst of a perverse and crooked world. Perverse and crooked because the world’s sin is that it does not believe. (John 16:9) Unbelief is what makes the world crooked and perverse in God’s eyes. And without the grace of God on our lives, we too would be a part of this unbelieving world. It isn’t about what we have done or can do, it’s all about what he has already done and is doing. It’s about simply believing. Notice that I said, simply, not easily. Believing can be the hardest work of all.  Believe that Jesus PAID IT ALL. We cannot add to our salvation, nor can we take away from it. 

BUT, without obedience, our faith is useless, even the demons believe. Faith without good deeds is worthless. Just like good deeds without faith will never earn us anything with God. After Paul gives the church instructions about how a follower of Christ ought to live, he ends with a plea to God to just give us grace. Every time. We need God's grace to follow Jesus, to obey Jesus. We can't obey the simplest command without grace. Like the commandment to love one another. How easy does that sound? Try loving someone you don't like. The proof of our believing is faith working itself out in love. And love is an action.

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, "good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well"- but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:14-17

Lord Jesus,Thank you. It is not about how clever I can be with these words I write, it’s about you, working your grace through me. My prayer today is that you strengthen each one of us with your grace. For without you we can do nothing. Our strength comes from your grace. Help me to continue to believe you. To believe your words and believe that you, Lord Jesus, paid my debt, IN FULL. Help me to believe that I can do nothing to repay you, I can do nothing to add to your sacrifice, I can only live a thankful life, continuing to believe and follow your example. Help me to hold fast to you and let go my unbelief. Lord, give me grace to believe. And let the proof of my belief be the life I live. 

Love, Renee


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