Suppose you gave me a gift.
Let's say you presented me with a new tie. I take it out of
the box and examine it. I say thank you and then reach for
my wallet. "Now how much do I owe you?" I ask.
You think I am kidding. "It's a
gift," you say. "You don't need to pay me."
"Oh, I understand," I respond,
but then show I don't by asking, "Could I write you a
You're stunned. "I don't want
you to pay me. I want you to accept the gift."
"Oh, I see," I respond.
"Perhaps I could do some work around your house in exchange
for the tie?"
"You just don't get it, do
you?" you state firmly. "I want to give this to you. It is a
present. You can't buy a present."
"Oh, forgive me," I hasten.
"Perhaps if I promised to purchase you a tie in return."
By this time you're insulted.
In trying to buy your gift I have degraded your grace. I
have robbed you of the joy of giving.
How often we rob God.
Have you ever considered what
an insult it is to God when we try to pay him for his
goodness? God loves a cheerful giver because he is a
cheerful giver. If we, who are evil, enjoy giving gifts, how
much more does he? If we, who are human, are offended when
people want to turn our gift into a bribe, how much more is
Spend some moments slowly
reading the response of Jesus to their question, "What are
the things God wants us to do?" (John
Jesus replied: "The work God
wants you to do is this ..."
Can't you see the people lean
closer, their minds racing? "What is the work he wants us to
do? Pray more? Give more? Study? Travel? Memorize the Bible?
What is the work he wants?" Sly is this scheme of Satan.
Rather than lead us away from grace, he causes us to
question grace or to earn it ... and in the end we never
even know it.
What is it, then, that God
wants us to do? What is the work he seeks? Just believe.
Believe the One he sent. "The work God wants you to do is
this: Believe the One he sent."