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“So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?” (Galatians 3:5 NIV)

Belief trumps works.

None of us can work our way into heaven.  No matter how good we are, we are still sinners.  Our good deeds aren’t what gets us into heaven; our faith in Jesus is.  Once we profess our faith and believe, God’s Spirit produces good works in us that the world sees.  He gets the glory, not us.

My car is a 2016 Prius.  A hybrid is an excellent car for living in the city; it requires little gas.  But once a month or so, I still need to put gas in it.  An electric battery is charged every time the car brakes.  This technology allows the car to use less gasoline, but it cannot operate without gas.  We’re the same as my hybrid.  We can get charged up from the good things we do in life, but without God’s Spirit in us, our engine won’t start in the first place.  Without an motor, we can’t run.

Belief fuels the engine.

When we place our faith in Jesus, it’s like filling our gas tank with fuel.  His Spirit enters us, beginning to crank the engine.  We instantly want to share what we have gained with others.  Our enthusiasm is overwhelming to those who haven’t had the same experience.  Often in life, I have to temper myself.  Jesus didn’t overwhelm people, He loved them.

Jesus’s presence in our life is what motivates us to get to know Him.  We learn about Him as we read the scriptures and begin to apply His teachings to our lives.  Good works happen when we take steps towards Jesus.

Forgiving someone who has hurt you is good work.  Rick Warren, in one of his devotionals, said forgiveness requires four things:

  • Recognize no one is perfect
  • Relinquish your right to get even
  • Respond to evil with good
  • Refocus on God’s plan for your life

Doing the four things listed above takes work.  When someone hurts us, we don’t want to see any good in them.  We only want to focus on the bad.  Letting someone off the hook is hard.  Accepting that God wants you to love them, even though they have hurt you is difficult.  But with God, we can do it.  He makes the impossible possible.  His Spirit within us creates the good works we do.  Without Him, we cannot truly forgive.

God’s Spirit fuels our good works.

Don’t get caught up in works.  They aren’t what fills your tank.  Time with God, in His word, will gas your engine.  Nothing compares to moments with your Creator.  His presence will overwhelm you, His good works overflowing from it.

Question of the Day:

Have you sat in God’s presence lately and let Him refuel you?

Further Reading:  Isaiah 22:1-24:23 NIV, Galatians 2:17-3:9 NIV, Psalm 60 NIVProverbs 23:15-16 NIV

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