Not By Works

I’ve enjoyed watching 60 Minutes for decades and a couple of weeks ago there was an interesting story on billionaire businessman, politician and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg (former mayor of New York).  As part of the interview he shared some of the impressive things he has accomplished with his charitable foundation to which he has donated billions of dollars over the years.  In general he came across as a likable and humble guy.  However, after talking about his philanthropic achievements he said “I like what I see when I look in the mirror....We’ve probably saved millions of lives, and certainly we’ll save tens of millions of lives going forward. There aren’t many people that have done that. So, you know, when I get to heaven, I’m not sure I’m going to stand for an interview. I’m going right in.”

Even though he has given great sums and done wonderful things to help and save many lives, I think we need to be careful we don’t deceive ourselves into thinking we can somehow earn God’s love or his salvation.  If this was the case, then why did Christ die on the cross?  If this was the case, why would we need Jesus at all?  Isn’t it pure folly to think we can somehow make God be indebted to us for the merit of our accomplishments and that he somehow owes us salvation?

This reminds me of what Paul said in Galations 2:16  – “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”

Lord, thank you for your love, your forgiveness, your mercy and your grace for it’s not that we first loved you, but that you loved us.  Amen.

Brad Gauen

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