Read: Ephesians 2:1-9

And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. (v. 8)

I love to receive a gold star. I strive to do my best and get a thrill when I receive an A on a paper or project. I put in extra hours at work so I can get good performance reviews, raises, and promotions. In the world’s economy, it is the work of my own hands that elevates my position.

Yet God’s economy is quite different. Paul writes in his letter to the Christians in Ephesus that it is through the blood of Christ alone that they have forgiveness and redemption (Eph. 1:7). It is their faith in Jesus Christ and not their good works that saves them and seats them in the heavenly places (2:6). It is grace, that unmerited favor of God, that elevates their position. Not what they do or how hard they try to be good. Wholly unearned, wholly undeserved, God’s holy favor.

Are you trying to earn a gold star from God? Do you secretly fear that God will not love you or not accept you if you don’t perform? Take comfort (or challenge) in knowing that God is not keeping a divine scorecard of your deeds to see if you measure up. God our Father has already decided you are worth dying for. The only thing you have to do—the only thing you can do—is accept it. Will you trust him? —Kelly Slaybaugh 

As you pray, ask God to help you lay down your attempts to earn his favor and accept his amazing grace.