Is receiving enough for you? Do you feel you should do more to be “really” saved? Do you feel like just receiving is being too passive? Do you struggle with letting God give what you need when there are so many commands for right living in Scripture? Does it make more sense that we should be working hard to keep favor with God?
There are often reasons people feel this way. Let’s look at a few:
- You feel guilty for your past. It is one thing to hear that you are forgiven and quite another to feel forgiven. But there is no truth contrary to God’s truth. Whether you feel like it or not, all your sins have been forgiven in Christ. You did nothing to earn or deserve that forgiveness. It was a gift of His love. That’s the truth and you can go through life denying it and missing the peace or you can accept it and be grateful.
- You feel guilty for your present. Your life doesn’t measure up to the standards you have learned. You should be able to stop doing some of the things you do. You feel that you don’t deserve to be saved. Well, let’s establish right from the beginning that you didn’t deserve to be saved and you don’t deserve to stay saved. But it wasn’t about your behavior then and it isn’t now. There are certainly dangers in sinful behavior, but losing your salvation is not one of them. Let the Lord lead you to right living, but trust in His love.
- You are getting bad teaching. Many churches and preachers know nothing except the law and performance spirituality. Sunday after Sunday they call Christians to repentance and salvation. They take the gospel of works to people who are already saved. Make a distinction in your mind between the message to the lost and the message to the saved so that you can discern which you are hearing. If you are constantly hearing the message to the lost in the context of the saved, you may want to find another church.
- The evil one is whispering his lies. You may not be able to do much about his whispers, but you can learn to ignore them. They are lies, after all. You don’t even have to argue with him. Just tell yourself the truth. If the evil one whispers that your secret might not be forgiven, just tell yourself that God knows all the hidden things and has forgiven all your sins. The love of God is our strong weapon against the lies. If the lies of the evil one consistently draw you to the truth of God’s love, the evil one loses.
These are just a few reasons that come to mind when I ask why some people would have trouble receiving God’s grace. Jesus said that the truth will set us free—free to receive the wonderful grace of God’s love!
What are your thoughts?