Devotions this week based on the Message: “BELIEVE: Week 3: Salvation by Grace!”
(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Stop ruining grace.
What do I mean?
We ruin grace when we think you can earn grace. You can’t.
If you could, it would no longer be grace.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
Here’s a strong statement…but let me explain: Christmas ruins grace.
At least American celebration of it. Why? Because about a month before Christmas parents start telling their children, “If you’re naughty, Santa won’t bring you any presents. If you’re nice, he will.”
What is the conclusion of millions of kids on Christmas morning as they rip open gifts? “I must have been pretty nice to get this gift.”
If you do Santa with your kids, tell them the truth. If you don’t want to tell them Santa isn’t real, then at least tell them on Christmas morning, “Good job, you were nice more than naughty so Santa is paying you what you earned.”
Clunky? I know (better yet, consider removing Santa from your Christmas celebration.)
But it messes up the REAL GIFT of Christmas – the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
A gift is not earned. A gift is not deserved. A gift is not a payment.
A gift is initiated in the heart of the giver and is given REGARDLESS of behavior, REGARDLESS of performance, REGARDLESS of whether it is deserved.
“Because of his GREAT love for us, God who is rich in mercy…” GAVE you a Savior. You didn’t earn it by being a Christian. You didn’t deserve it more than someone else. You don’t even get credit for choosing to receive the gift.
It is all God. It is ALL a gift. Because it is all grace.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Maybe I just ruined Santa for you. Sorry.
But I don’t want Santa, or anyone or anything else ruin grace.
I know we’re a few months out from Christmas, but why not reimagine Christmas morning? Instead of excitement over what “Santa brought,” why not excitement over what God GAVE you and the gifts we give to our kids and to each other are a wonderful reminder of Gods UNDESERVED gift to us.
Let grace be grace. Thoroughly enjoy it. It’s God’s GIFT to you!
Apply: How does your sinful nature like to think that in some way you deserve God’s grace? How can Ephesians 2:8-9 refocus our hearts?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for ruining grace by thinking I can earn your favor or deserve your love. I don’t. I thank you for loving me so much that you were and are willing to give me your love, forgiveness and place in heaven simply because you love me. AMEN.