a perfect day to do the right thing for the right reasons.
“I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.” Isaiah 57:12 NIV
It is important to remember that salvation is the most valuable gift that God gives us. It is just as important to always remember that it is just that-a gift. We cannot purchase it by doing good works. We cannot buy it by giving money to charity. Salvation is a gift from God. As Paul wrote in his letter to the Church of Ephesus, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8 NASB).
It is not only the wealthy who try to buy the salvation we all desire. People of all incomes are guilty of thinking it is what we do that gains favor with God. The mistaken belief is that we can live our lives in whatever manner we so choose and make up for it by giving anonymously to our church, or writing a check to the local food bank. What we do is less important than WHY we do it.
It may be possible to fool those around us into believing that our generosity is motivated by concern for others that is born out of our love of Jesus Christ and our acceptance of Him as our Lord and Savior. It may be possible to live a lifetime of going thru the motions of being a good Christian and believing in the Word of God. We can say all the right things and go thru all the right motions, but it all comes down to this: we can fool everyone, perhaps even ourselves, but we cannot fool God.
If we are trying to make up for sexual promiscuity, greed, selfish anger, adultery, vulgar language, and improper thoughts by buying a bag of groceries to donate to the local food bank, we really need to stop and take a long, hard look at what we are doing.
If we have accepted Christ and we are earnest in the pursuit of the truth, we will become better people. As we feel better about who we are, and we start to feel that inner glow that comes from a relationship with the Lord, we will begin to think differently about the people around us. Salvation that is ours simply for believing will cause us to want to look constantly for ways to serve God by helping other people.
Then, and only then, will we be doing the right things for the right reason.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson