On my first trip to Mexico, I was looking through a handful of pesos that I had exchanged for dollars, when a local fellow reached over and grabbed one of the bills out of my hand, crumpled it up, and threw it in the street. My first reaction was to say, “Hey, what are doing with my money?!” He looked at me and said, “Bad money,” meaning that the value of that particular bill was worthless, less than the value of a penny.
That’s what our good deeds are worth in the currency of grace. I wish I could say I “coined” that phrase, but apparently I’m not the first to use it.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
You know, you can knock yourself out, work really hard for something. Save up your money to buy a special something that you’ve wanted for a long time. Maybe it’s a new car or a new camera. Whatever it is, you’ve poured out your sweat and time for months to earn the extra cash that you needed to pay for it. You finally saved enough and went out and bought it. Oh the joy of the moment!
Then……… your friend comes over, and shows you the one her daddy just bought her as a gift. She didn’t work for it, she didn’t buy it with her own money, and she sure didn’t deserve it! But there it is. In fact, its a newer model than the one you could afford. Talk about letting the air out of your balloon…….
I hate to tell you……. but that’s how grace works. God gives us the gift of salvation ….. for nothing. We didn’t earn it; we can’t buy it, it’s too expensive; and we sure don’t deserve it. But there it is, a gift, just waiting for us to take it…….
The things we could give God to buy salvation are like that worthless piece of money I had in Mexico……… bad money……… with no value.
Salvation is a gift from God, not by works so that no one can boast.
The mug is raised today in hopes that if you haven’t already, you will discover that God’s best gift is free.