God doesn’t want you to try to “be good.”

“We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.  How then was it counted to him?  Was it before or after he had been circumcised?  It was not after, but before he was circumcised.  He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.” -Romans 4:9b-11a

It’s easy to slip into the false belief that God blesses the behaved, and that we must “clean ourselves up” before coming to Christ for either salvation or blessing.  This is NOT what Scripture teaches, however, and this idea will keep us from much joy if we live like it’s true.

God offers grace to the unworthy, so that He may receive all the glory.  If we could make ourselves “acceptable” to Him in order to be received, then we would get the glory.

Find peace in this today, Christian.  God neither wants nor expects you to live perfectly and follow Him out of duty or fear.  He doesn’t want you to work hard in your own strength to “be good.”  He wants you to receive His love and His power freely, as a gift purchased for you by the blood of Christ, and let right living be the joyful overflow of a grace-filled heart.

His call to each of His children is that our cry would not be “O God, help me do right so I can be righteous,” but rather, “Father, thank you for the righteousness of Christ that You gave me.  Help me respond well to it and live rightly, because that’s what I really want to do!”