"And you were once dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together in Christ--by grace you have been saved--and raised us up with him and seated us with him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:1-10
How truly opposite of this truth I want to live! In my bad habit of walking in the flesh, I find myself turning this truth upside down. Here is my flesh version;
"I must look for good works to do, we all must. Then I must grit my teeth and do them in return for earning a right to get into heaven which is supposed to be good right? I am going to be a better person today, a better "Christian" by trying harder-He helps those who help themselves, Right? And like a good friend who wants to help me out but would rather see my character suffer to develop, god is watching but won't help. He is waiting for me to get it together so that I can repay him for what he is giving me even now. I can be perfect, if only he can wait another day. There is no such thing as free for me. I am a hopeless case, he is unable to do much with the situation i am in. If I was not so disobedient, he would help me. I have to "do my best and let God do the rest". All self help is god's way in disguise, he is interested in my success. I am not that bad am I?"
Sick, sad and false. How hard it is for me to accept something I have never had nor will ever have on my own Freedom. Grace-For Freeeeeeeeeeeeee....
In our world it is much better to give than receive, right?
Yet so opposite of what the Lord wants to do with us. He wants us to receive from Him, Jesus is the ransom paid. Thank you Father and Son. I can't add anything to that. The gift of grace is free for us who faithfully believe. We can't even take credit for our belief! He says he called us first. How much my pride is forced to let go of. We are His workmanship, not our own. It is His kingdom we are in and going to. It is His, all His-we are His, all His. Enjoy this free gift.
Only in accepting it continually for ourselves are we free to give it away to others. Others who hurt us, offend us, use us and frustrate us. Our friends and family, our inner circle. No way I can do that on my own, I must receive this precious free gift. How about you?