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Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Works Do Not Equal Grace

It is “religious season” right now. For all of the C & E “Christians” (Christmas and Easter) this is one of the two times each year when they clean up their act and try to do good things. Religion, by my definition, equals man made rules and regulations, created and used by those in position of 'authority', to manipulate and control others ... while attempting to force them into their perceived image of God, and their particular ideas about how to live and serve God. 

I’m not a fan of religion—I am a fan of a personal relationship with Jesus. For me there is no “season” of doing good. My challenge is 24/7-365 to live in such a way as to honor and serve God in all I do. I don’t give up trifling things for short, 'special' periods of time—calling it a fast. I don’t pray out loud before every meal. I don’t burden myself with religious traditions that do little to help me have a personal relationship with Jesus. 

This time of year is no more “holy” than any other time –God is holy, just, and righteous year round and, by the way, He is not confined to our calendar. So whether we celebrate Easter in March or April matters not to Him. He would much prefer we “celebrate” the significance of Easter every day in our lives. I’m a simple preacher. I don’t think God made the Bible to be overly complicated. Look at this section of scripture: 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. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV).

I ran across this cute, but also poignant short clip about the difference between “good works” and “grace,” and wanted to share it with you today. Enjoy, but also consider ...

We are saved by grace—God’s grace, and God’s grace only. So while I think it is quaint—the traditions man has come up with relating to certain times of the year to give thanks and celebrate—I’m vastly more grateful for God’s amazing grace. Thanks to His grace toward me, my “file” is clean. I do good works, of course, but it is His grace that has set me free. If you are in the Saginaw area I invite you to come check out a church that focuses on a personal relationship with the living God instead of how well you dress or what you have done in your life. I will offer you the opportunity to do good works, but more importantly I will teach you about God’s grace, and how to have a growing, intimate relationship with Him. No suit or tie required—just a willingness and desire to be the person God created you to be. 

Keep the Faith ...

Pastor Dana


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cliffcakes said...

No Explanation needed! I thank God for his grace. I could never be "good enough" with out it. Great word PD!

Connie Arnold said...

Cute video that makes an important point. Thank you for the reminder of God's grace. Praying God's blessings on you and your ministry.