Stop Trying to Prove Yourself Worthy of Grace
By Rick Warren
“For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 TEV)
The saving grace of God is a narrow road. You can’t earn it. You can’t make it happen on your own. You’ll never deserve it.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it” (TEV).
God saves you by grace, which means it’s his free gift to you.
It’s almost comical the way some people try to prove themselves worthy of God and earn their salvation. They try:
- Salvation by subtraction. You just need to stop doing certain bad things and hope God will forgive your sins.
- Salvation by service. Be nice. Do good. Get baptized. Help little old ladies cross the street.
- Salvation by comparison. You don’t need to become a Christian because you’re a better person than a particular Christian you know.
None of those options work. None of those will make you right with God. Not being “bad” won’t get you into Heaven, because the Christian life is more than what you’re not doing. Service doesn’t work because you can never do enough “good stuff” to please God. And comparison doesn’t work because Jesus was the only perfect person and the only one worthy of our comparisons.
There’s only one way we can receive the grace of God. The Bible says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:14 NIV).
That narrow road to God has nothing to do with what you can do. It is all about what Jesus has already done.
Have you ever surrendered your life to God and his narrow way? That’s the first step toward receiving his grace in your life. You can learn more about the amazing grace of God at my website, rickwarren.org. Look for the “Know God” tab, and you’ll find a video and guide explaining what it means to trust your life to Jesus. And let me know if you pray along with the prayer by writing me at email@example.com.
Talk It Over
- Which of the wrong ways to God mentioned in the devotional do you think is the most tempting for your friends and family? Why?
- Why do you think many people find trying to earn their salvation more comforting than receiving the free gift of grace that God offers?
- Share another false way to God not mentioned above and why it can be so tempting for many people.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit rickwarren.org
The secret to being happy no matter what is looking at every experience and circumstance you face from God’s viewpoint. When you go through difficult times joy becomes a choice you make minute by minute. Written by Pastor Rick’s wife, Kay Warren, this Devotional book is the perfect tool to help you stay focused on God’s word and see things from His perspective. Each devotion begins with a much needed encouragement from Scripture, followed by Kay's wise words on how to live with joy. Each devotion ends with a short prayer to help bring you closer to the source of all joy—our loving God.
This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
You can also listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.