artwork-797_1920Last Sunday in worship we talked about trying to simplify our lives by eliminating “overwhelmed, overscheduled, and exhausted” from our vocabulary. If we are able to do this, we should feel some relief from this out of control lifestyle that is taught by society. One of the illustrations that I used towards the end of the message included a ladder (which I climbed during the service). This ladder is significant in that it can be viewed as a success monitor for work, but also for church life as well. We feel as if we need to climb the ladder of success at work, but also to “prove” our worth within the culture in churches.

You see, the more involved we are, the better Christian we are right? So we join the trustees, choir, participate in missions, offer our tithe, and so many other things that we “do” in order to be the right kind of Christian, or to at least be viewed by others as a good Christian.

When we do these things, we can view it as climbing that ladder, trying to become better in our faith. The problem comes when we realize that no matter how much we do, or how involved we become within the church, we never seem to reach the top of the ladder. But the amazing part of this, is that we don’t have to reach the top on our own merit, because God came down the ladder. God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ to us, so that we don’t have to “do” all of those things. The relationship has been reconciled through Jesus Christ, not in the things we do.

Afterward, I had a few people ask me about this and I realized that I should have explained a bit further. Here is what I was hoping to get across. We don’t have to do anything to earn God’s grace, it is a gift, freely given to each of us. Our works do not save us, God’s grace does. Now, what I’m not saying is that since it’s not through what we do, then we shouldn’t do those things. We should. But the difference is in the attitude. It’s a change of heart.

We understand that instead of doing things within the church because we “have to,” we begin to do all of those things because we “want to.” It’s a change of heart, and that’s what God desires for us. So keep serving wherever God has called you, but serve because you want to, not because you have to in order to earn something. This is God’s economy.