I see many believers today working like demons (pun intended) to prove, to their fellow Christians and the rest of the world, how spiritual and holy they are. It’s one of the many traps religion, in place of relationship, will get you into. The Bible does call us to serve our fellow man Matthew 23:11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”, but it does not say we must work in order to keep our salvation, and openly condemns working to gain the approval of others. Matthew 6:4-6And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

Matthew 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Does this mean that we shouldn’t work at all, and just expect God to take care of everything. Of course not! Remember the Proverb Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”(24:33,34) Laziness clearly leads to poverty, and we’ve all seen enough examples to know it’s true. Matthew is speaking of our salvation. Did Jesus say on the cross “Now go and do your part.”? No, He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30)

Let’s look at Ephesians 2:4-9 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; ) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 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.” Our salvation is a “gift of God”, and we can do nothing to earn it. We can only accept it. If the only thing we get from all this is the realization that salvation is a gift and accept it, then we’ve done amazingly well. But there is more.

Galatians 4:4-8 Explains, But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”  We’re adopted, heirs with Christ! What was promised to Him is also promised to us. Because of His sacrifice we receive not what we deserve, but what he deserves.

Look again at Ephesians 2:6 “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” Notice the present tense? As far as our salvation is concerned it’s all done. There is nothing left for us to do, once we accept God’s gift.

Imagine being seated with Christ. You say to Him, “Lord, this is amazing and wonderful, but I don’t deserve it.”

And He says, “You’re right.”

“Lord, what can I do to deserve all of this? I was raised to earn my way. No one gets something, especially something this wonderful, for nothing!”

“There is nothing left for you to do.”

“But, Lord, this isn’t right. Surely I can do something, work as a missionary or feed the homeless. I could buy coats for poor children.”

“There is nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“It has all been done.”

You’re sitting there, surrounded by God’s glory and the beauty of heaven, and you realize it’s yours for eternity. Everything has been done, and there is nothing left for you to do. You see the love in His eyes, and as tears well up in your own you ask, “How can I ever repay you?”

With the kindest smile you’ve ever seen He says, “You can’t. It’s a gift.”

You whisper, “Can I at least do something to show you how much I love you?”

“Yes.” He says, “You can follow in my footsteps.”

We need to check our motivation. Are we working to earn “brownie points” with God? Are we working to impress others? Or are we working because we understand the incredible mercy and grace we’ve been given?

If everything has already been done, in Christ, why fight and struggle for power? Why be jealous or haughty? Why condemn and undermine? When we start from an attitude of rest we can truly “walk with God” and do the good works, He has given us to do, with a glad heart.

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