“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
We have examined God’s grace as a free gift and how important it is to extend that grace to others. However, we haven’t talked about the process of accepting God’s grace for ourselves when we don’t deserve it.
We cannot earn salvation by doing good things or just being a good person. God gives us that gift because of Jesus. He paid the debts that we owe, and we can never repay Him. He is perfect, and we are far from perfect.
In the verse above, we are told to do our best in our relationship with God. Because we are human, we can’t present ourselves to God without God. The challenge is to give him what we have – both sides of the coin.
We cannot hide the negative parts of ourselves from God, and we can’t use the positive parts of ourselves to get farther with God or erase our sins. We just have to sit with it all. He wants us to be congruent, allowing ourselves to just be comfortable in our own skin, accepting the entire package and exposing the entire package.
It is important that we learn to accept God’s grace and live like we are children of God (we are whether we accept it or not, right?). It is an honor to walk the road of life with God. Without Him, we would be lost.
This honor brings a sense of freedom with it. The freedom does not mean that we can do anything we want to without consequences. It means that we are given our salvation free, and we are forgiven for our actions before we even commit them.
Even when we mess up, it is important to remember that God’s grace covers our sins every single time. His love washes away our sins every single time. He wants us to accept this truth so that He can do a mighty work in our lives, so that we are open to see Him working.
We do not need to be ashamed for what we have done or what we will do in the future. We need to keep our eyes on the prize, our salvation in heaven and a relationship with God through the Holy Spirit on earth.
While keeping our eyes on Jesus, we have to admit where we end and where He begins. We have to admit that we can’t do this process without Him, and we have to admit that our best falls drastically short. We can handle the word of truth correctly and present ourselves as approved when we are leaning on God, listening to Him, and following His lead. His grace makes it possible, and His love makes it worth the effort. God loves us no matter what.
Take away: Remind yourself that God gives grace because He loves us. Our good works do not “add” to this free gift, and our mistakes do not “take away” from this free gift. We do not deserve it, but we desperately need it.