Limited People and an Unlimited God

We all want to take care of ourselves, but we can’t.

Now, most of us think we can. We firmly believe we can pull ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps and take care of ourselves. So we work to gather wealth, fame, Facebook friends – anything that will make us feel like we’ve made it. If we want something good, we have to go take it for ourselves, right?

But then there’s Jesus.

If we can take care of ourselves, then what of salvation?

Ultimately, we’re faced with the brutal truth that none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10). All of our efforts to save our souls are in vain (Ephesians 2:8-9). In fact, we even find out that as hard as we try to do it, we are still sinners who fall short (Romans 3:23).

It’s an essential truth of the gospel – we can’t, but God does.

In Jesus, we find a Savior. One who doesn’t just talk about love but demonstrates it for us by giving up everything, including Himself, to save our souls (Romans 5:8). And the most incredible part about it is that He is the only one with flesh on who could save Himself (Colossians 1:15-17). But He didn’t.

God has always known that we need a Savior.

Through faith, we receive the forgiveness of sins for which Jesus willingly gave His life.

Through faith, we receive the hope of eternal life shown in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

Through faith, we live our life on earth as His ambassadors to reveal His heart to those who still think they can do it themselves.

And yet, many professing followers of Jesus are still trying to do it themselves.

It’s not only empty effort for their righteousness, but it also presents a messed up view of Jesus to everyone around them.

Paul tells Timothy:

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19, NIV)

We need to be reminded of that essential truth – we can’t, but God does.

The same faith and dependence that brought us into relationship with God is the same faith and dependence which we live daily in Him. We continue to live in the truth of the gospel.

All our lives and resources we give to Him – not out of obligation but out of desire. When we remember that we need God, we place our hearts and lives in His hands for His provision. We truly enjoy what we are given in Christ, so much so that we want to richly bless others in the same way.

At least that’s the way it should be.

Because of what we have generously been given in Christ, we have the opportunity to be generous toward others. Salvation isn’t just for us. Jesus came for the whole world (John 3:16). That may be true in our heads, but is it true in our hearts?

  • Am I placing my hope in God’s continued provision, or do I live in my own power?
  • Have I demonstrated God’s love to anyone else lately or have I kept it to myself?
  • Is the life I’m holding onto the one I’ve been given or the one I started before faith in Christ?

I need Jesus every bit as much today as I did when I started following Him, and I’ll need Jesus every bit as much tomorrow. Living in the reality of the gospel reveals to others that Christians don’t have it all together. We can’t.

But God does.

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