If you go into any bookstore or search the Internet you will find thousands of self-help” books . These books tell us how to improve our our lifestyles, our looks, our jobs, our marriages, our families, and our relationships. Some of them even talk about improving your relationship with God. If you follow the advice in these books, blog posts, motivational speeches, seminars, retreats, etc., you may become stronger, have a better marriage, get a better job, or get closer to God. Many of them do give you good advice, and in if you follow the advice it will help you improve your earthly life. But it never seems to be enough.
There is no self-help book, or advice and guidance from your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your business mentor, your psychiatrist, your physician, your teacher, your minister, or anybody else, that can convince you that are good enough for God. There will always be something there, a feeling that you’re not good enough. That’s because apart from Him who by his grace through Jesus you aren’t and can’t become good enough.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Jesus came to save people who, because of sin, will never be good enough to save themselves. The only way that we can be good enough to have a personal relationship with God is through Jesus Christ his Son. When we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
Romans 10:9-11 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
When God looks at us he sees the righteousness of Christ and not us. Then we are good enough.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
In this excerpt from her book, Sacred Rest, Cheryl Wunderlich, tells us that we are enough because God says you are because He is.
Through Him Who Loved Us
by Cheryl Wunderlich, from her new book Sacred Rest
We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
— Romans 8:37
Self-improvement is big business. Who doesn’t want to improve? We hope to become fitter, healthier, wiser, and more loving. We want to be more successful in business and more present in our daily lives. We try so hard to be good. The question is, how good is good enough?
Most of us end up exhausting ourselves in the quest for ever-elusive “balance.” But many self-help gurus hide the hard truth that we will never attain it on our own. Today’s verse reveals the key: we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
The victory over sin — and all our other weaknesses — is through Christ.
The Christian life is not a self-improvement course, so you can stop trying to be good enough and rest. Jesus has done all the work for you. He offers to take every scrap of your sin, put it on Himself, take the penalty you deserve, and give you His righteousness in return. If you have received His gift of salvation, when God looks at you He sees Christ’s perfection — period. Your failures were pardoned at the cross.
You must admit, the offer of salvation He holds out is too good to pass up!
Once you receive Christ’s righteousness, you are invited to live in rest and freedom. If guilt or shame arises, just remind yourself Jesus has already declared you “not guilty.” You do not need to pay again for your sins, which Jesus already paid for once and for all. Just turn from them and toward Him.
When temptations and trials come, know that you can overwhelmingly conquer through Him. When you feel weak or unable to move forward, you can continue through Him. Jesus said,
My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.
So like Paul we can “boast all the more gladly about [our] weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on [us]” (2 Corinthians 12:9). How’s that for self-improvement?
Lord, I try everything to avoid being weak. But I don’t want to miss out on experiencing Your power at work in me when I have reached the limit of my sufficiency. Weak people need You. I desperately need You. I can’t be a conqueror without You.
Excerpted with permission fromSacred Rest by Cheryl Wunderlich, copyright Cheryl Wunderlich.
Editor's Note - Discover the soul-soothing peace of rest as God designed it to be. Sacred Rest: Finding the Sabbath in Every Day offers insight, prayers, and exercises to help you practice steps to a life that is rich and at ease. One hundred devotions interspersed with prayers and Scripture verses will be welcome relief in our stressed and overwhelmed culture.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.