The world tells us that a good work ethic is essential to success. We hear the testimonies of people who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and have become self-made millionaires. We think, “Wow! I want to do that too.” After all, if you don’t work hard, you shouldn’t expect to receive anything, right? Not exactly—the principles of the world system we live in don’t necessarily work in God’s kingdom.
God’s kingdom is God’s method of operation with those under His rule. As Christians, we are a part of God’s kingdom and the things that happen in our lives are controlled by God’s principles.
One major principle in God’s kingdom is that those in His kingdom must operate by faith, and not works alone. We can’t earn our way into God’s kingdom by works (keeping man-made laws and traditions), nor can we pay our way in through sacrificial living and giving. No. There is only one way in—through Christ who paid the price of complete perfection and holiness for us.
Why should we work to pay what has already been paid for by Jesus and his death on the cross? That would be silly. But, many of us Christians are still working for what is free. The Apostle Paul experienced the same frustration at one point in his life…
What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (The Message)
In God’s kingdom we become successful by putting our confidence in Christ working through us and not in what we “do” for Christ. Once our faith is truly in God and not in our ability, our talent and our resources, our “works” will work.
Remember, works done without faith (in Christ) are dead works—they will not succeed or achieve anything.
Today’s Life Key: Put your confidence in Christ.