the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
The King James Version says it this way:
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Most of us understand that there's no way we can be good enough to earn God's grace and forgiveness. It's only because of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection that we are called the children of God.
I still struggle with the idea of unconditional love. That doesn't come naturally to us humans. No matter how hard we try, there are limits and expectations that define our love.
We assume God's the same way.
So we ask ourselves -
What do I need to do to ensure that God continues to love me?
If I want to grow in my faith, how do I work my way there?
Serve on a committee, sing in the choir, teach a Sunday school class, be there every time the church doors are open...I have to stay on God's good side, don't I?
Praise the Lord, No! His love is truly unconditional.
We don't have to earn it or work to keep it.
We can serve God until we're exhausted but He won't love us any more or less.
Rejoice in these words: Jesus is the author and perfecter, or finisher, of our faith.
He loves us. He works in us to strengthen our faith.
We don't have to show up in the boss' office for the dreaded once-a-year job evaluation.
We don't get a report card that we have to show to our parents.
He doesn't sit on His throne and rate our performance.
He doesn't leave us on our own.
Read our Bibles.
Gather with other believers.
He uses these things to strengthen our faith.
He finishes it. He perfects it.
That doesn't mean we can flop down in the nearest easy chair and nap all day long. Jesus works in us because we hunger for Him. Because we desire to live for Him.
He satisfies our hunger by increasing our faith.
You don't have to spend your days afraid that God is judging your every move.
You don't have to work to stay on His good graces.
Trust Him, relax in His love, seek to know Him, and leave the faith-building to Him.
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