By Pastor Bobby Schuller
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
-2 Timothy 2:15
The physical world that we live and operate in is based totally on merit, isn’t it? That’s especially true in America where we have the freedom to achieve and accomplish goals, which are good things.
The bad side effect of this kind of a world is that everything becomes about merit. It begins in school, doesn’t it? With grades. You go to school, you’re in second or third grade, and you don’t do very good work so you get a C or a D, and the kid over there got an A or a B. Then, as you progress along in school, you start to realize that, if you work hard, your merit grows and your teachers and parents view you more highly. Now, all of a sudden, your future looks better.
This starts to weave into everything we do. If I pray a lot, God’s going to listen more, bless me more. If I give a lot more to charity, if I overcome my vices, if I do these things, then somehow there’s a part of us that says, “Well, I’ve come a little bit closer to God’s love.” But that gets everything backwards.
You cannot become a virtuous Jesus-kind-of-person by your own efforts. It begins and ends with the power that comes from knowing that we’re not what we have, not what we do, and not what people say about us. We’re God’s children and he loves us. That love cannot increase and it cannot decrease.
God loves us, not as we should be, but he loves us just as we are.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me just as I am. I am your child and you love me just as much today as you did yesterday and will tomorrow. I am comforted by you love and grace. Amen.
Reflection: How are you comforted by God’s love?