Galatians 5:4, “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
My Pastor is killing it with this new message series! If you want to, go to our website and listen to last week, here is the link. http://providence229.com/listen.html Be sure to check back later this week for yesterday's message too.
You know when we say someone has "back slidden" in their faith, how they "got away from God", because they are not attending church?
Did you know that you can be attending church, reading your Bible, and living for God all the while separating yourself from Him?
Scary, isn't it?
This verse in Galatians posted above is simply saying this: "If you think you have to EARN your salvation, or you are trying to perform for God to love you, you have fallen away from grace."
I, personally, used to struggle with this! As an only child, I remember taking my drawings to my parents for their approval. I wanted them to like what I was doing.
As an teenager and adult, I carried that into my relationships, and looked for validation in the wrong places. At the age of 23, after losing my twin boys and feeling God's heavenly peace, I ran to Him.
A part of me understood that His grace was a free gift, but deep down inside, I was still trying to please Him in the wrong ways and perform for Him to love me.
I worked at a church from 2007-2010. Some stuff happened, I left, and went to where I attend church now. It wasn't until I was there awhile and began to heal that I realized I thought God loved me more because I worked a church.
Don't get me wrong.. NOT that He loved me more than YOU. But that He loved ME more because I was in ministry working for Him.
I picked this picture of the vine going up the bricks that I took a couple of Sundays ago because I think it really shows what I'm saying. The vines at the top, growing the closest to the roof aren't any better than the ones at the bottom...but we live like that. We think if we are doing more for God, doing a lot for God, and performing just right that He will love us more.
That's so silly.
At this point in my life, I am working at a church again. I just had my 2 year anniversary there... and I get it. God made me to work in a church. NOT to get Him to love me more, but that's where He wants to use the talents, skills and abilities He has placed in me.
Our works don't work, as my Pastor said yesterday. He said, "Nothing in the Christian life is by works. God doesn't work miracles in your life by your works. Your works have value but only in relationships with others. They would appreciate if you don't lie, cheat and steal."
It's not that God wants us to do bad things, like lying, cheating, or stealing but it's that if we have, He loves us anyway.
We present the Gospel wrong sometimes... it's not "God loves you but you better follow His rules." OR "Come just as you are, but you better straighten up."
We come to God in our mess and HE straightens us up. His grace is sufficient for us and He is made strong in our weakness.
Are you still trying to earn your grace? If you are, please read through the Scriptures and find out the truth. That's not how God works.
You are loved. Not because of anything you did. But because of what GOD did for you!