Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 6, 2016
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
Are you a performance-driven Christian? Deep down, do you believe you have to work to earn God’s love or His favor? If so, there is good news! As a daughter or a son of Christ, you have been set free from the pressure and burden to perform. Here’s why.
I once heard someone say, “The only way to think about anything is the way Jesus thinks about it.” I instantly thought that the only way that Jesus thinks about me and everything concerning me, is within the context of the cross. It’s always within context of the unbreakable covenant of grace that He made with me and all who belong to Him. If you have accepted Christ, how He thinks about you and responds to you isn’t motivated by your good behavior. It’s motivated by His love and righteousness. He never thinks of you as a child who can be easily thrown away based on your performance. When God thinks about you, He thinks about you within the context of adoption, because that’s what the cross did for you. . . it made you forever His. You are His Son. You are His daughter.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
When you are living in the Lord’s love, and your heart is filled with the reality of the depth of sacrifice He made for you by dying on the cross, you will be motivated to do good works—not because you can earn His favor or love—but in response to the favor and love you have already received. You’ll be motivated out of gratitude and joy to serve Him. In this there is such freedom! Trying to earn favor through works is death. But doing good works from a place of gratitude is life and joy! You will be able to tell when you start to live like an orphan, rather than a son or daughter, because you will begin to strive and panic. You will feel enslaved as if you aren’t doing enough for the Lord. But life with Christ and a knowledge of His love is liberating! If you feel you must work to earn the Lord’s love, He wants you to know the joy that comes from serving Him with the right motives. That happens when you are convinced that His love is unchanging.
If you are performance-driven, your natural response may be to make a plan or do something to get free from the trap of performance and striving. Maybe you want to read a book or try harder. But you can’t be set free from being performance driven by performing! You can’t work your way out of it. You can only be set free from being performance driven by being delivered. You must be rescued by Love. Jesus Christ will do for you what you can’t do for yourself. This is His grace. Call out to Him today and ask Him to help you. He will answer.
“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18).
PrayerLord, thank you for your gift of grace and your unchanging love. Praise you that I don’t have to work to earn your love or favor. You have already given me both. Amen.
ApplicationAsk the Lord to reveal to you if you are performance driven, then ask Him to reveal His perspective to you, thanking Him for His unconditional love.
Related ReadingJohn 15:11; John 15:5; Romans 14:17
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