Thursday, January 12, 2012

Very Good People

 Is it enough to be a good person?

Grace... What is it?

Tamara wanted to share a devotion for this week about grace:

 Devotion from Friday Jan 6th:  Ephesians 2:1-10

The Difference Between Root and Fruit

It is by grace you have been saved....not by works, so that no one can boost.  Ephesians 2:8-9

The english politician William Wilberforce is best known for his efforts to end slavery in the British Empire.  It was a decades long struggle, but abolition was finally accomplished.
Wilberforce not only had great determination; he was able to discern spiritual truth.  He was perplexed that many who considered themselves Christian supported the slave trade, which he belived was in opposition to Christian faith.  In response he wrote A Practical View of Christianity to show the danger of making good behavior the basis for salvation.
Can you imagine a politician today calling for social reform by making direct appeals to Christian doctrine?  That's what Wilberforce did.  He rightly pointed out that good works do not create new life in Jesus;  they demonstrate it. 
People who consider themselves "good"  but do not abide in Christ are placing more trust in their own work than in God's.  But the only possible result is nominal Christianity -  surface-level goodness without internal renewal.  That's why Jesus called the Pharisees, who were undoubtedly very good people, "whitewashed tombs" (Matthew 23:27)
Obedience is the fruit, not the root, of being accepted by God.  Work hard at being good, but always remember that your good works "show the incomparable riches of his grace."
From Today, a Back to God Ministries International publication. Author Peter Hoytema
I have been praying that the Lord would show me my sin so I may ask forgiveness (for I always felt like a good person and that I didn't have many sins),  and God has been faithfuly showing me in many ways, one was this devotional.
Thank you,

Is being good enough? 

 This is something that many people have a great deal of trouble with. I know I have as well. 
I was always told by my parents and teachers, that I was a good girl. I never got into any trouble. I wasn't never into drugs, smoking, promiscuity or alcohol.  I always did what I was told and helped when asked, even helped when not asked. 
So, compared to other teenagers,  people thought I was a saint. 
"How could I be a sinner?" 
But that's what I was… at least that’s what the Pastor said when I first gave my heart to Christ in 1982. I couldn’t understand what sin was. I never did anything wrong and it felt increasingly uncomfortable to not repent of something. What bad choices had I made? I couldn’t think of anything to lie down at the feet of Jesus and repent. So, I made something up. Maybe that’s why God's grace  didn’t stick the first time a round?

Sin is anything that keeps you away from a relationship with your Creator. Anger , resentment, lieing (to look good), and disappointment at everyone and anyone that isn't up to your high standard of values and morals...  and then pass judgment on those who fall short. 

Instead of catching them before they fell off the cliff,  I gave them a little push with my judgmental rulings. Shame on that high and mighty little princess of long ago, who thought she was better then everyone else. I am not a saint... and no one is. It isn't about my standard of morals, but Gods. Being good by my standards isn't enough.

Lord, forgive us when we think to highly of ourselves and judge others instead of offering them grace; thank-you for showing grace to us. Help us to show your grace to others. Prepare us for every good work. In Jesus name. Amen

and the D4N Ladies

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