Open Hands

As Summer comes to an end, it is likely beginning to dawn on you that Fall is fast approaching. This means for many of us our that work/school schedules are about to get a lot more hectic. As we flip through our calendars and set our agendas, we likely begin to feel our stress levels rise. This causes us to feel as though we need to perform in order to meet people’s expectations of us. As we successfully, or unsuccessfully, fulfill our responsibilities, we often judge our value and worth by how others respond to our successes and failures.

As a pastor, I have heard many people confess that this is how they feel God views them. They feel as though they must meet a list of requirements in order to find favor in His sight. However, God makes it very clear through His Son, Jesus, that we need to come to Him as we are. This includes both our successes and failures, our strengths and our weaknesses, and in our qualities and failings We cannot earn God’s love and favor, rather we receive His love and favor through faith in His Son. God is in the business of giving out grace through His Son, and He never requires us to DO anything in order to earn His grace. If we had to do something, then it was cease to be grace.

How is grace received? To begin, grace simply means unmerited favor. You cannot earn grace, lest it ceases to be grace. Grace is simply to be received. All of us come to God with open hands, bringing nothing of our own. When the Father sent His Son to die on the cross, Jesus lived the perfect life so that we did not have to. Through His death, we were given access to truth and life. Rather than feeling like you need to earn God’s favor, live in it through faith in His Son.

Here is what the Apostle Paul wrote concerning this amazing grace, “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law, no one will be justified” (Gal. 2:16).

Is your faith in Christ? Your answer to this question will determine whether you receive God’s grace. If you have already placed your faith in Christ, then I pray that you are able to live from the love and favor that you already have. If you have not placed your faith in Christ, then I pray that you will accept the free gift that God so freely gives through His Son.