Stop Trying to Earn God’s Love

S (Scripture) – Hebrews 9:13-15 “For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”  NASB

“Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.The Message

O (Observation) – It’s not about me.  It’s not about my efforts to be “good enough,” and to measure up to what I think God expects of me.  For those unbelievers in the world who think that they cannot approach the Lord before they “clean up their act,” there is Good News for you…it’s impossible to get your act clean enough to approach a holy God.  We are able to walk right in to the Holy of Holies where the presence of God dwells, and receive the inheritance we don’t deserve, all because of God’s abounding grace.  God’s grace is receiving what we don’t deserve, didn’t earn, and could never earn despite our best efforts.  His forgiveness, His righteousness, His love, His peace, His power…the list goes on.  He doesn’t just give us a little bit of grace…he pours it out on us continually from a never-ending supply.

A (Application) – As believers, we need to stop trying to earn God’s love.  He loves us with an everlasting love, and nothing we do (good or bad) can change that.  For those who are not believers, but are trying very hard to be a good person in order to “get closer” to God – stop.  Receive this truth – Jesus did it all…for you.  When you receive this free gift of amazing grace, the transforming power of the Holy Spirit will take care of guiding you into all truth, changing your thoughts, desires, attitudes, and behavior.  Please don’t make the mistake of getting it backwards.  Our lives are transformed from the inside out – from the overflow of a redeemed life.  Not from the outside in – as if good behavior has the power to save us and make us right with God all on our own.

P (Prayer) – Oh, Heavenly Father, thank You for the cross.  Thank you for Your never-ending supply of amazing grace.  You never run out on me, even though I deserve differently.  I pray for all those who have not experienced the joy and freedom from knowing that You are the One responsible for life-change.  May we not be consumed by trying to “be good at religion,” but rather let us understand what You mean by declaring that we “can live all out for God.”

The words of Jeremy Riddle’s song, Sweetly Broken, comes to mind:

“To the cross, I look, and to the cross, I cling

Of it’s suffering, I do drink, of its work, I do sing

On it, my Savior, both bruised and crushed

Showed that God is love and God is just

At the cross, You beckon me

You draw me gently to my knees

And I am lost for words, so lost in love

I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life

Have I been given through Christ crucified

You’ve called me out of death

You’ve called me into life

And I was under Your wrath

Now, through the cross, I’m reconciled

And in awe of the cross, I must confess

How wondrous Your redeeming love

And how great is Your faithfulness.”

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