NOTE: This devotion is a great summary of an important truth: Not by good works, but by repentance and acceptance of the work of the cross are we saved!
From Awakening, a devotion on YouVersion Bible, read on the Fourth of July, 2014
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23 NLT)
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. (1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT)
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)
YOU DIDN’T EARN IT
We all have an inner sense that we are undeserving of forgiveness, and the truth is, we really are unworthy of it. The Bible says “”All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”” (ROM. 3:23), but the solution isn’t found in attempting to be a better person. The only way to eternal life in heaven is through repenting of your sins and giving your life to Jesus Christ.
You cannot earn Gods forgiveness. It does not matter how many old ladies you help across the street, that you’ve always been your teacher’s favorite and mommy’s special child, or that your grades are good and you’ve been voted “most likely to succeed.” God is not a cosmic Santa Clause tallying up all your good deeds on an eternal “naughty or nice” list. Salvation is not a “thing” to be earned but a gift God gives freely. The Bible says “Salvation comes from the Lord.” Too many young people try to earn Gods acceptance without realizing they are already accepted! Life is now no longer about what you’ve done, but about what He’s done. Jesus loved you so much that he was pierced for you, that you might live and have eternal life.
COMMENT: Today is a good day to reflect on this passage, to remember a basic truth, and to fill the God-shaped hole inside you with the God of the universe, the God above all gods, the Name above all names! Stop trying to earn the acceptance of others. Stop trying to do enough good to outweigh the bad. Acknowledge you have fallen short, that you need God, that what Jesus did on the cross was for you. Ask for forgiveness for your sins and receive Jesus into your heart. Know that you are loved and accepted by God!