For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10 ~~ (KJV)
Most people work to earn a living. In our capitalistic society, you gain money by providing either goods or services to someone who is willing to pay for them. It works fairly well in a free market.
Many religions – even some Christian sects – focus on works as a means of earning heaven. Were that so, one would be putting God under an obligation to pay for some service. Wait a minute!
What does God need – NEED – from us?
Absolutely nothing. There is no service we can do for God which He cannot accomplish without us. There is no physical thing we can provide which He does not already own. So how do we earn our place in heaven?
Our place in heaven is a gift from Jesus. He gave it because He loves us. He satisfied our debt and freed us to live without blood-guilt.
The only thing that can keep us from this blessed gift is us. We need to accept by faith that He has paid the price. That there is nothing we can do to earn a place in heaven.
By the same token, we need to serve God – not because He needs our service, but because we need to serve. Only by serving His purposes can we express our gratitude for what He has done for us.
What we do is the evidence of our faith, more evidence than what we say.
The point is that love and faith lead to behavior. If we love God, we behave in loving ways. If we love the world, we behave in selfish, thoughtless ways. Actions are evidence not origins, effects not causes.
Eternal Life is a gift, not a payment.
Give us the grace to accept Your gift of life by faith in You. Grant that we may be truly grateful for the sacrifice of Your Son and evidence the same by our daily walk. Help us to reflect the light of Your love in this world.
In Jesus’ most precious name.