Tuesday, April 13, 2021

You Can’t Earn God’s Favor

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Hebrews11:6(KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

As a young believer, George had been raised on dos and don’ts. All his life he had tried to live by a strict religious code. At church camp that year the leader taught on the theme of our being complete in Christ.  The more he talked on that subject and the more George listened, the more he became aware of the truth of that message. For the first time in his life, George began to realize he didn’t have to work for holiness (wholeness); he was already complete (whole) in his Savior. All he needed to do was to walk according to the nature that he has received. Finally, he broke down in tears, weeping with joy and relief. “I see it; it’s all God’s grace,” he sobbed. “I feel as if a ten-ton weight has been lifted off my back. I don’t have to try to please God anymore; He is already pleased with me. That puts a whole different light on it. Now I want to work for Him rather than have to work for Him.”

The moment he understood grace, peace overwhelmed him. Oh, if only more people could come to that understanding. The faith life is not trying to please God by our action, even our great faith. It’s just living by the principles of the Word He has already provided. Salvation, peace, prosperity, success, health, joy, life in all its fullness and abundance, has already been provided for us by our loving heavenly Father. If that’s so, then we don’t need to try to obtain His blessings by winning His favor. We already have His favor, His grace (John 1:16). It was His grace that moved Him to do all this for us in the first place. We simply need to receive the blessings that accompany His favor.

There is a simple principle involved here. You simply cannot please God by works. There is only one thing that pleases God. We find it spelled out for us in Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him.” It’s not difficult to please God by works, it’s impossible. Nothing pleases God but faith in Him. 

Am I saying then that works are wrong? No, not at all. Works are fine. We are supposed to work, just as our Lord worked: “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me” (John 5:36). Later in John 14:10 Jesus explained how those works were done: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

We remember our Lord told us he who believed in Him would do the same works He did and even greater works. (See John 14:12.) But how? He gave us that answer in John

15:5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Fruit (good works) is produced through us not because of anything we are or do of ourselves, but because of the Word that abides in us. Works are produced by the same indwelling Spirit who did the works through Jesus. Works are evidence of God’s favor upon us, not a means to obtain God's favor. We remain in God’s favor by remaining in fellowship with Him and His Word, not by works of might.

Go into today with the understanding that as believers we do work, but not primarily to please God. We work for Him because we know that He is pleased with us.
—George Evuarherhe Djorhogba

Yearly Bible Reading: Matthew 23-25 (In Devotional Audio)

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