Ezekiel 36:25-27 (NIV)
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
This passage is incredibly humbling! There are so many things that our God has done: made us clean, given us soft hearts, taken away our impurities and given us His spirit to live within us. This is not because we deserve to be made clean before God, but because he LOVES us; He wants us to live a life filled, completely, with His love and will for our lives. Even though I know this to be true, I catch myself attempting to earn God’s favor and saving grace. Humans are desperate, relational beings that strive passionately to feel loved and accepted. Sometimes I feel that by attending church services every week, serving at every event possible, reading my bible daily, and trying to live my life the “Christian way” I will show God that I deserve His love. Although these are all good habits (and there is nothing wrong with them), actions will never earn the love and favor of our gracious God. If we attempt to earn God’s favor with our actions, we will never succeed. Our minds cannot fully comprehend what grace is and how nothing we do can earn it. The beauty of grace is that God has given it to everyone without us doing anything to deserve it! He has sacrificed His Son for us, and we did NOTHING to warrant this love or grace from our Father.
My favorite definition of love is: “giving someone what they need the most, when they deserve it the least.” Every time I hear this definition, I always think of our God and Father. He LOVED us so much that he gave us what we needed the most – grace – when we deserved it the least.
God loves us and has showered grace upon ALL of us! He wants to have a relationship with His sons and daughters! I challenge you this week, as I have been challenging myself, to accept that we cannot earn God’s favor and that we have already been washed clean. We have been forgiven and saved by our Amazing God! I pray that each one of us will begin to live a renewed life, on fire for God and fully in awe of what He has done for us! Take this week to pray and thank Him for grace. Surrender to live the life that God has already set out for you. Pray for guidance and begin to live recklessly abandoned to God!
Devotional Author: Laura Watkins