“The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
If you have kids you more than likely have given them opportunities to earn some money, especially if they really want something badly, but you want them to earn it instead of you just going out and buying it outright. You probably have given them certain special chores in order for them to earn the money. Often they will eagerly do these chores and once they are done and they’ve counted up all they’ve done and what they have earned they will immediately come to you and let you know that you owe them such and such because they’ve earned it.
Well, sometimes we as Christian adults will sometimes think of salvation along those same terms. We try extremely hard to keep from breaking God’s laws and then when we find ourselves breaking them we hurry to confess them when we discover that we have failed. We might even pile on extra prayers and do more kind deeds in order to try and balance out any of our unintentional slip ups. We even might get anxious when we think that our efforts have fallen short. What if our sins outweigh our good deeds? We might ask ourselves.
Well, it’s a good thing that God doesn’t look at us in that manner. He is not our heavenly accountant who is keeping a detailed ledger of all of our assets and our liabilities. In fact, the Bible tells us that whenever we turn to Him in repentance, He will cast our sins far way. In fact He forgets them altogether, it is we who seem to always remember them and dwell on them. When He forgets our sins He then turns only to focusing on our future. This is because His primary role isn’t that of a strict and exacting judge. His first and foremost desire is to be a loving Father who delights in giving His children good gifts and that includes giving us eternal life!
Imagine for a moment if you will, that you have died and are now approaching the gates of heaven. You start to search frantically for your personal tally sheet so that you can prove that you really do deserve to be let in. However, you seem to have left it behind!
As you stand there rifling through all of your pockets, you suddenly hear your name being called out. You look up, and there He stands, Jesus, shaking His head in almost amusement. His arms are spread wide to welcome you home. You first would probably hesitate but then you more than likely would run as fast as you could to those loving and welcoming arms. And without even thinking about it He scoops you up and presses you close to His eternal heart in joy that you have joined him at the feast He has been preparing for you all of your life!
He might even whisper something like “Don’t be silly,” He gently chides. “How could you ever earn your way to eternal life? If you could, I wouldn’t have had to die on the cross. I’ve already paid for everything for you in advance! That is my gift to you. Welcome home and now, come and live in my love.”
“Dear Jesus, thank You for inviting me to live in the freedom of being Your beloved child!”