I’ve been thinking about my past few blog posts on the 1st and greatest commandment, that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. I’m afraid that some might take my struggle to fulfill this command as an attempt to earn God’s favor, or His approval.
Let me set the record straight: there is NOTHING any of us can do to earn God’s approval. No amount of adherence to the law, no amount of good deeds, no amount of ANYTHING I do on my own could ever measure up to God’s standard for righteousness. The Bible is very clear about this.
From beginning to end, our works do not make us righteous; only our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf can do that. Abraham wasn’t saved by his works (take a look…he was quite the screw up), but by his faith (see Gen. 15:6). And we’re not saved by our works, but by faith.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9 NKJV)
When I’ve written lately about trying to fulfill Jesus’ command that we love Him with all that is in us, I’m not doing it to try and earn His favor. None of us can ever do that. Only His perfect sacrifice could atone for our sins and satisfy God’s requirements for righteousness.
No, when I strive to love Him with all I have within me, to love Him above all else, I do it for one reason: that He be glorified.
That is the only reason any of us who have been “saved by grace through faith” have for doing anything. We live our lives to glorify Him. I pray He is glorified in me.