“The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God.” —William Bernard Ullanthorne (1806-1889)
If you’ve been around Christians much, you’ve probably heard us mock a very popular motto: “God helps those who help themselves.” Yeah, we make fun of it; I mean, it’s not even a Bible verse. Not only is it non-biblical, it is contra-biblical—the exact opposite of what Scripture teaches. So we laugh at it... and then turn around and live by it.
Be honest, now. Doesn’t something deep down inside you feel that God is more likely to help you, love you, accept you, and deliver you if you are trying your hardest? Don’t you fear that He is likely to leave you stranded and alone if you haven’t done your best? … or am I the only one?!
Listen, I believe that we are destined to be doers of God’s Word. We were created to be our part in the Body that is living in grace and sharing His grace with the world (see Romans 10:13-15
for how this works). God’s involvement is a given.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and selfdiscipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. —2 Timothy 1:7-10
His grace saved us, and His grace calls us to a holy life. One result of this holy life is that I join with others in suffering for the Good News. I want to do that because I want other people to experience His grace. But it’s “not because of anything we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace.”
Who does God help? God helps those who are completely helpless, which, by the way, is you and me and everyone else.
Lord of the Harvest, I come to You helpless today. I give up trying to help myself. Thank You for forgiving me when trying to earn Your help by works. So, I rest in You now. I claim the spirit of power and love You have placed in me. Live a holy life through me by Your grace according to Your purposes. Amen.