If you were to ask the average person on the street how God feels about them, here are some of the responses you might hear:
- “Well, God loves me, but He is disappointed in me when I do wrong.”
- “He loves me, that’s why He punishes me when I do wrong.”
- “I’ve done too many things wrong for God to pay attention to me.”
- “Some days He’s happier with me than other days.”
- “I could lose my good standing with God if I don’t do the right things.”
Most people approach God as though He is a box of chocolates - when it comes to God, you never know what you are going to get.
God is not like a box of chocolates. You are not left to wonder what He thinks about you from day to day. The problem lies in the fact that we think that God’s opinion about us is up to us and our behavior. The truth is, what God thinks of you is dependent on Jesus, not you.
Romans 8:1 tell us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Notice that this scripture does not say, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are WELL BEHAVED…
Freedom from condemnation, blame and guilt doesn’t come from your good behavior. In fact, there is no way that you can behave well enough to be free from condemnation. James 2:10 reminds us:
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
Romans 8:1 teaches us that in order to be free from guilt and condemnation, we must be IN Christ Jesus. That means that to receive the free gift from Jesus (see last week’s post, “Are Christians Still Sinners?” ), we must believe that He paid for and removed all of our sins on the cross. He is the only path to assurance that you are clean and forgiven in the eyes of God.
It is easy to say the words, “Yes, I believe that I am saved by the grace of Jesus!” But, do you really believe it? Or deep down, do you still believe that God only thinks well of you based on your behavior? If you believe in the pure grace of Jesus, you can agree with the following statements:
- I believe that God is NEVER upset or disappointed with me.
- I NEVER have to work to earn God’s blessings.
- I am convinced that God ALWAYS has good things in store for me.
- I NEVER feel ashamed, guilty or condemned about anything - ever!
Yes, these are extreme statements. But God’s grace for you is extreme. I admit that I haven’t yet been able to answer “yes” to all these statements myself all of the time, but I am committed to the renewing of my mind until I am convinced in my heart that this is how God feels about me.
So, the next time you find yourself wondering if God is pleased with you, remember that God is not like a box of chocolates. With Him, you always know what you’re going to get. With Jesus, you will always receive love, acceptance and goodness from Him, whether you feel it or not!