Not by Works

I am and always have been a person who seeks the approval of others. I want people to like me, to appreciate what I have done and to notice that I am helping. I don’t think that I am alone in this desire, but I do know that this need to work towards acceptance isn’t necessary with my relationship with God.

I have read these verses, memorized them, taken notes from numerous sermons about them. But they are now settling into my heart. I spent years trying to please my mother, but there was nothing I could do to make her happy with me. I just was never good enough. I had straight A’s on my report card, but my mom brought up the fact that I had gotten a C on a test recently. I was just not good enough. I knew from a young age that my mother cried when she had me, stated repeatedly that she never wanted me and even refused to name me. (My dad names me, ironically, for my mother.) In spite of a less than welcoming childhood and all kinds of physical problems, I grew and matured and at the age of twenty-one, I became a Christian. I didn’t have to do anything special for God to love me. I just had to be me…a sinner saved by grace. There was and is absolutely nothing I can do to make myself more acceptable to God. He loves me just the way I am. That has been a freeing truth in my life. I still like to please people, but if I don’t, I’m not totally devastated. I just keep trying to please God instead by serving others. Not because He requires it, but because He doesn’t require anything of me except for me to believe and accept Him as my Lord and Savior. I have been changed from the inside out and it’s freeing to know that I can’t earn grace!

May you, too, find the freedom that comes only from accepting God’s free gift of salvation. And may your day be blessed with finding others to tell about His love, mercy and grace!

Just As I Am-The Vagle Brothers

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