For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

There are perhaps no words more devastating than the words “There’s nothing more we can do.” It could be the words of the doctor after the test results come back. On a far lighter scale it could be as the scoreboard clock registers zero and the ball falls harmlessly to the floor. Whatever the reason, those words bring indescribable agony to each of us.

There is, however, a time when these words can bring refreshment and life. That is when we each come to a point where we fully realize that there is no way we can live the way God wants us too. That’s when we come to the end of ourselves and admit that we don’t have what it takes to break that addiction, heal that relationship or endure the pain of illness or financial disaster.

The point when each of us falls to our knees and, in agony cries out to God that “There’s nothing I can do! I’m helpless!” is when His grace takes over. The bar that is set for us to live pleasing lives for God is too high for human achievement and effort.

That’s what Grace is about. That’s why Jesus came to die. He did it so that you could experience the freedom of life with God even though you are weak, stubborn or are hounded by addictions and relational dysfunction.

The Creator God of the universe knew we would not be able to measure up to His standards. That’s why He sent Jesus to die for us. Now we can experience the undeserved favor He has in store for us.

The ultimate irony in all this is that often times we as Christ-followers gladly accept the free gift of forgiveness and then turn around and try to ‘earn it’ by doing all sorts of things to appease God. Some of the things we do are very good things. For example, fill in the blank for this sentence. “To be a good Christian I need to __________________.”

Some of the possible answers could be: Go to church every Sunday; Read the Bible and pray every day; belong to a small group Bible study; and the list goes on. These are all very good things and important for our spiritual growth. However we don’t need to do those things to appease God. The debt is paid! There’s nothing more that needs to be done.

God doesn’t expect perfection from us. That’s why He is a God of second and third and forth chances. When you make a bad choice or stumble again ask for forgiveness and for the strength to do better next time. Then move on. Don’t allow the daily mistakes you make keep you from the freedom you have in Jesus. Jesus doesn’t keep score or compare you to others. His gift is free to all!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. Some days I feel like I’m the least worthy of anyone to be forgiven. I’m stubborn, rebellious and rely on myself to get through life. Thank you for your free gift of Jesus. Forgive me for trying to gain your approval or for trying to do life my way. Empower me to live in the freedom you intended for me to have through your Grace. Amen.