THURSDAY, MARCH 18
Then they said to Him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
John 6:28-29 (ESV)
JESUS MAY NOT BE SATISFYING IF I AM TRYING TO EARN GOD’S APPROVAL
Bret Toman shared the following story: I remember trying to get approved for our first mortgage. There were a number of difficulties and it was very frustrating both for me, and I’m sure for our agent. But after all the sweat and tears we got approval and consequently the offer on the house we wanted was accepted. Some weeks later I called our guy again, that was his name, Guy. And gave him an update on our financial picture, wanting to make sure everything was still in order. My wife has taken this job, this credit card is paid off, we sold this vehicle …. things had happened and our financial picture was clearer and better. I thought Guy would be pleased, but he explained to me very politely … IT DOESN’T MATTER. You are ALREADY approved. I could have quit my job, maxed out my credit cards, bought a dozen cars on credit … that wouldn’t have changed the equations. I was already approved.
I don’t recommend trying Bret’s suggestions but Christian, you are already approved. God has accepted you. Not because of your efforts, not because you are worthy, but because of grace. When Jesus spoke about the works of God, the Jews immediately thought in terms of “good” works. It was their conviction that a man by living a good life could earn the favor of God. They thought people could be divided into three classes–those who were good, those who were bad and those who were in between. Jesus taught the essence of the Christian life is a new relationship to God and not works to earn His approval. Jesus made that relationship possible when He died for our sins. A person still trying to earn God’s approval will never do enough to find satisfaction in Christ.
Do you believe you are fully accepted and fully loved by God? If not, is it because of what others have taught you or what God has said to you in His word?
Praise God that our only work is believing who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Ask Him to grow the depth of your understanding of His love and acceptance for you.