January 7, 2013
by Charles R. Swindoll
2 Timothy 1:9 NLT
Most people I know look forward to payday. You do too, right? For a week, or perhaps a two-
week period, you give time and effort to your job. When payday arrives, you receive a hard-
earned, well-deserved paycheck. I have never met anyone who bows and scrapes before his boss,
saying, "Thank you. Oh, thank you for this wonderful, undeserved gift. How can I possibly thank
you enough for my paycheck?" If we did, he would probably faint. Certainly, he would think,
What is wrong with this guy? Why? Because your paycheck is not a gift. You've earned it. You
deserve it. Cash it! Spend it! Save it! Invest it! Give it! After all, you had it coming. In the
workplace, where wages are negotiated and agreed upon, there is no such thing as grace. We
earn what we receive; we work for it. The wage "is not reckoned as a favor but as what is due."
But with God the economy is altogether different. There is no wage relationship with God.
Spiritually speaking, you and I haven't earned anything but death. Like it or not, we are
absolutely bankrupt, without eternal hope, without spiritual merit; we have nothing in ourselves
that gives us favor in the eyes of our holy and righteous heavenly Father. So there's nothing we
can earn that would cause Him to raise His eyebrows and say, "Now maybe you deserve eternal
life with Me." No way. In fact, the individual whose track record is morally pure has no better
chance at earning God's favor than the individual who has made a wreck and waste of his life and
is currently living in unrestrained disobedience. Everyone who hopes to be eternally justified
must come to God the same way: on the basis of grace; it is a gift. And that gift comes to us
Adapted by permission. The Grace Awakening Devotional, Charles R. Swindoll, © 2003, Thomas
Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Copying or using this material without written
permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited and in direct violation of copyright law.