One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
We live in a world that values self-effort. It has a “Pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps” mentality that actually causes us to struggle. As a result, we try to solve our own problems through our own methods but see no success. The good news is that God is waiting for us to turn to Him so that He can save us from all our fruitless, exhausting efforts.
All around us we see people carrying burdens God never meant for them to handle. Some of those burdens are bad attitudes, negative emotions, addictions, and other things that hold them back from succeeding in life. This is painful and can lead to bitterness and discouragement; however, God is asking us to give Him those issues we can’t handle. He wants an opportunity to become deeply involved in our lives and show us favor. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG).
Trying to force things to work is never the solution. If we end up feeling frustrated, it’s because we’re taking the wrong approach to the issue. We were actually created to be in union with God so that we would succeed in everything we put our hand to. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Abiding in Him means not only accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior but also allowing Him to walk us through the situations we need help with.
Society tells us that any good thing we want in life must come by our own doing. However, apart from God’s intervention our efforts won’t amount to anything. We may see some temporary results, but they come at a high price and don’t last. No matter how well-intentioned, our works without God’s grace are empty and meaningless. “And since it is by God’s grace, it can’t be a matter of their good works; otherwise, it wouldn’t be a gift of grace, but earned by human effort” (Romans 11:6, TPT).
Working for the sake of working doesn’t work; all it does is make us feel like we’re on a never-ending treadmill without ever reaching what we’re striving for. Under the Law of Moses, the people were required to constantly perform, but their works were empty of faith. Now that grace has replaced the law, we need to have faith in God’s grace. “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28, 29). This was true during Jesus’ ministry, and it’s still true today.
Jesus is grace in human form. Accepting Him means accepting the offer of help God extended to mankind when He sent us His Son. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). Christ moves us from simply existing to a life of abundance, joy, and success.