Since it is Holy Week, all of my devotional material is focused on Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection, just as it should be, of course. In keeping with that theme, that is my focus this week.
There is absolutely nothing we could ever do to be righteous enough to stand before the Lord on our own merits. We were not saved by our own works but rather by the sacrificial blood of Jesus. But He didn’t stop there. He also renews us daily by His Holy Spirit. Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior means entering into a relationship with a God who held out His hand to us first, expecting nothing in return, and who made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. I think that often when I plan to do something for someone, my selfish thoughts first go to how a certain action will affect me. God just sent His Only Son to die for us, without a single selfish thought.
Our response to the sacrifice of Jesus is to devote ourselves to doing good. No, good works don’t save us! Jesus does! The good works are our response to having Him live in our hearts. Our lives are only productive if we are meeting the needs of others instead of only focusing on self.
The excuse that many use for not doing good is that others will ridicule us because of our position as Christians. A younger me shied away from helping others publicly because I didn’t want anyone to notice me. But Jesus was not ashamed of me when He went to the cross willingly. There is nothing that I can do for others to ever compare to what Jesus did for me. So, ridicule is nothing. Being called names online…nothing. Being ostracized from certain unbelieving family members…nothing. Yes, my beliefs might be considered radical to some. After all, I believe in a risen Savior who died that I might live eternally with Him! But isn’t that what His sacrifice on the cross was all about? His entire life was focused on doing God’s will and fulfilling the destiny that He knew God the Father had established for Him. Can I do any less than seek God’s will and do it, regardless of peer pressure?
May you have a quiet day of meditation and reflection about all the Lord has done for you and all He is still doing for you daily. God bless you!