Joe Sperling posted this on the Assemblyboard:

“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy”. (Rom. 9:16)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have to stop and remember the day that I was saved. I have to ask myself, “Was I worthy to be saved? Was there something about me–something I had accomplished, some righteousness I had achieved–that caught God’s eye?”  And of course, the answer is a flat “NO”.

So then, what would make me think that there is something about me now, even after years of being a Christian, that would make me worthy?  There is absolutely nothing!  God didn’t save me because he saw something in me worth saving—he saved me solely because he LOVED me.  I absolutely did not deserve it!! So why would I think there is something I could do to earn MORE of God’s love, or, on the other hand, something that I could do to LESSEN God’s love for me now?  I was a complete sinner—an enemy of God–and in my heart, which is desperately wicked, I am STILL a sinner and an enemy! Only God’s grace changes that—his mercy alone!

Yet, how often we all can fall back into a “works based” conception of acceptance or rejection by God! It can happen so easily at times.  And I truly believe that it is our enemy’s greatest deception when it comes to Christians–to lead them out of the simplicity of accepting what Christ has already done, into working for acceptance with the Lord. Or falling into despair over what we have not accomplished for the Lord. Of somehow thinking the Lord MUST be displeased with us due to our great unrighteousness and ungodliness.  How often I need to go back and remember the verse above. In fact, it’s worth repeating again—it’s so simple, but sometimes so hard for us to just believe:

“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy”. (Rom. 9:16)

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