Grace vs. Works
"And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.” -Romans 11:6
There are often great dichotomies in our journey with Jesus. There are things that seem as though they are directly contradictory, when in fact a closer examination reveals that they work together in a careful balance. One of these dichotomies is the balance between grace and works.
In our world, there's a lot of pressure to be perfect. We strive and try so hard to do the right thing, to be the best, to gain the most approval from others, to be the most Christ-like. But in reality, we can never prove ourselves worthy to God. How did we think we could make ourselves worthy to Him when He already paid the price?
When we are in ministry-related activities, or even in everyday life, we shouldn't confuse our faith with works. Works says, "I do this because I need to prove myself worthy." Faith says, "I do this because I believe and I love God." It's exhausting to believe that we have to prove ourselves acceptable to God. But, at the same time, faith without works is dead. (James 2:14-17). This is the same struggle the Protestant reformer Martin Luther experienced.
Resting in God's arms requires realizing that it's not about us. It's not about how much we serve, how good we look to others, or how much money we make. It's about our understanding of who we are in Christ. It's trusting and believing. It's the reality that we don't have to do anything, but we want to. This is relationship without religion.
Works are a natural result of true grace. Once we walk in this grace, we don't have to feel obligated. We desire everyone to experience the grace that we do. Are you able to trust fully and walk in God's grace?
Related resource: Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado