|Photo by Margot Cioccio|
Micah 6:8 (NIV1984)
He has showed you,
O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD
require of you?
To act justly and to love mercyand to walk humbly with your God.
I think we often over complicate things. What would it take for you to feel like your walk with the Lord was good enough. How much would you need to read your bible, or how much time would you need to spend in prayer? How many acts of kindness or how much self-sacrifice or good deeds would it take to put you in right standing with God?
The truth is that if you are approaching your relationship with the Lord on any of those levels you have missed the point of His free gift of grace. While I want to encourage you to spend more time with the Lord, more time in the word and in prayer. I want to be careful that your devotions do not become "works"by which you hope to win the Lords favor. Ephesians 2: 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
While it is important to spend time with Jesus it should be more like when you fall in love with someone. You look forward to every opportunity to be together. When you are apart your mind is quick to wander to thoughts of the one you love. The Lord desire is a relationship of love not one of works. Our acts of service and devotion should be more from a place of thankfulness than one of constantly trying to earn Gods favor. Your salvation is a gift of God's love and grace. It is un-deserved, it can't be earned.
Mark 12:33 (NIV1984)
To love him with all you heart,
with all your understanding and with all
your strength, and to love your neighbor
as yourself is more important than
all burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Knowing that there is nothing you can do to cause God to love you any more or less should help to free you from the task master of religious obligation. When we walk humbly with our God. It is from a position of acceptance of the great gift of His mercy, grace and love that has been provided for us through the sacrifice of Jesus. He took the punishment that we deserve.
Help us to approach you from a position of humility and thankfulness. Help us to put to death once and for all the idea that we could ever do enough to earn your favor. We do not deserve your mercy, grace or love. Yet you have reached out to us with arms of love and have made a way for your justice to be satisfied through the price paid once and for all by Jesus. It is ours only to accept or to reject. If we choose to reject that gift of love, we are already perishing. Help us to more fully realize that you desire our love over sacrifice or religious duty.