For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time – to show us his grace through Jesus Christ. [2 Timothy 1:9 (NLT)]

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. [Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)]

passion flower (scarlet) - NBG736webOne morning, while getting ready to go out for a day with my friends, my husband brought me a small box. Upon opening it, I was stunned to find a beautiful silver and inlaid stone necklace that I’d admired more than six months earlier. When I asked what the occasion was, he simply replied, “I’ve been waiting to give it to you and thought it might match your outfit.” Flabbergasted at seeing the jewelry, I felt undeserving of this lavish gift and regretted my sharp words earlier that morning. It wasn’t my birthday, Valentine’s Day or our anniversary and I had done nothing special to deserve such a gift. It was just a beautiful, “Because I love you!” present. When we’re surprised with a gift like this, a gift from the heart, we tend to question our worthiness to receive it and feel uncomfortable because we have nothing but our thanks to give in return.

We are all undeserving of the most wonderful gift we have ever received: Jesus Christ. God gave His only Son and sacrificed him for our sins. That is the most magnificent and unwarranted gift ever and we did nothing to deserve this splendid present. In fact, we have done much that is wrong. That, however, is the astonishing thing about God’s grace: it’s not something we deserve and it’s not something we earn. It is something given to us by God simply because he loves us.

Thank you, Lord, for the gracious gift of your Son and our salvation. As unworthy as we are, fill us with your Holy Spirit. Empower us to do your work and honor this precious gift by the way we conduct our lives.

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. [2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NLT)]

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