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Monday, May 1, 2017

Gratitude for His Gift

In review of Ephesians 2:8 it says, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

Bottom Line:
God saves us when we believe, it’s His gift and not something we can do on our own.

What this means to me:
God treats me much better than I deserve. He saved me by his grace when I first believed. This is not something I did or could possibly do, it is simply a gift from God.

This verse comes from a letter of Paul’s to the church in Ephesus. He is explaining to them our true identity in Christ. He tells us “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

When someone gives me a gift, I don’t say, "That's very nice-now how much do I owe you?" The appropriate response to a gift is "Thank you." Yes how often, even after been given a gift of salvation, feel an obligation to try to work my way to God for this gift. However, what I’m learning is that because our salvation and even my faith are gifts, I should respond with gratitude, praise, and joy.

I became a Christian through God's unmerited grace, not as a result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on my part. However, out of gratitude for this free gift, I should seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not merely to please myself. While no action or work I do can help me obtain salvation, God's intention is that my salvation will result in acts of service.

I need to adjust my feelings to fit the facts. I am saved, made holy, and sanctified by faith in the Lamb of God. Therefore, I shouldn't allow Satan to control me via my feelings. My emotions can be toxic and detrimental to my success. Satan will use whatever he can get ahold of, to control and to destroy me. But there is great news! Faith is the victory that overcomes the world, the flesh, and the devil. And I’m an overcomer through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

I’m going to experience a bad day now and then. But once I get down, do I stay there? Rather I start singing a song of praise and ask God to saturate my day with His peace and His joy? I should not allow the circumstances that I’m in right now to dictate my mood, good, or bad. Circumstances come and go, but true joy comes from the Lord.

God is good. He is faithful and full of grace. With Him on my team, I can charge the gates of hell with a water pistol and come out victorious! I am saved and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! I should not allow negative emotions to consume me. I have too much going on for me to be controlled by toxic emotions and temporary circumstances.