If I could take a guess, I bet you’re thinking, “Well, duh, of course, he did!” But do you really act like Jesus already paid the price? Do you truly believe with your heart, soul, and mind that it’s already been taken care of? Do you really live like Jesus paid the price?
I dare say that most of us don’t. Most of us are too busy trying to do good works that we forget that Jesus already took care of our sin on the cross.
I have always had perfectionist tendencies. Those tendencies have affected the way I have lived my entire life. At times, they’ve caused me to think far less of myself than I should have. Certainly far less than Jesus thinks of me. If I am made in the image of God than God has already looked at me as good. These perfectionist tendencies have caused me to “perform” to earn God’s love. At times, I’ve been able to let go a little, only to find myself taking one step forward and two steps right back.
This tendency begs the question, “Does our performance make God love us more?”
Does doing the right thing all the time make God love us more?
Does following the letter of the law make God love us more?
And to those questions, I would answer, “No!”
Friends, our performance can do nothing to make us any more worthy of his love. Without Christ, we are completely unworthy of God’s love. But with Christ, the price has already been paid.
Romans 6:1-7 (NIV) What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
God loves no matter what we do.
Does that mean that we should keep on sinning just because of his grace? Again, I would say, “No.” When we give our hearts to Christ, we put aside our old way of living and submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ.
Does that mean that we’ll no longer struggle with messing up? Absolutely not!
And when we mess up, will God quit loving us? Again, No. Because nothing we can do can make him love us more. So, performance to please God alone isn’t going to do anything to make him love us more.
Isaiah 64:6 (NIV) All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind, our sins sweep us away.
When we are focusing on “being perfect,” we miss out on the opportunity to grow in our relationships with our Father God. Father God is looking for us to pour out our hearts to him, allowing him to mold us and shape us into who he’s made us to be.
Jesus already paid the price
Jesus, not only paid the price for our sin, but also for every part of our lives. It’s already ours because of the finished work of the cross. All of our striving and performing won’t bring it any closer.
You might be thinking, well how can I be the Christian I’m supposed to be without “trying to be good?”
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know this one thing, Jesus already paid the price. I encourage you to:
#1: Rest daily in the stillness of his presence.
#2: Regularly read his Word, the instruction manual for life.
#3: Begin to say what he says. Find out what his Word says about a situation and make your words line up with his.
#4: Remember that God isn’t limited by the circumstances around us.
#5: Take the time to listen to his voice in the everyday moments of your day.
#6: Make sure you’re in the fellowship of believers that challenge you regularly.
How about you? Have you ever struggled with truly accepting all that Jesus paid for?
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*All Photos are my own*