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Sunday, March 6, 2016

You Don’t Always Get What You Deserve BY RICK WARREN — MARCH 6, Sunday

“Whatever I am now it is all because God poured out such kindness and grace upon me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10a TLB)
If you’ve grown up in the U.S., you’ve probably heard all of these statements before:
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
  • We make money the old-fashioned way — we earn it.
  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
  • There is no gain without pain.
  • God helps those who help themselves.
Everything about the American way of life teaches you that you get what you earn in life. We value work, sweat, effort, and performance. It’s called the American work ethic.
Overall, I like such a strong work ethic. God wants us to work at our jobs as if we are working for him. But God never relates to us based on our performance. The Bible tells us that everything God does in our lives — every blessing we have, every gift we receive — comes through his grace.
In other words, he gives us what we don’t deserve.
You say, “What a minute! I’ve worked for everything I have! I’ve put sweat equity into it.” But the truth is, if God hadn’t given you the energy and the brains to work, you wouldn’t have any of it. Every breath you have is a gift from God. He doesn’t owe you the next breath you take. It’s purely a gift from him.
We’re saved by grace. God blesses us by grace. God teaches us by grace. God uses us by grace. God takes us to Heaven by grace.
The Bible is very clear that everything we have we get by the grace of God:“Whatever I am now it is all because God poured out such kindness and grace upon me” (1 Corinthians 15:10a TLB).
You need God’s power in your life. You need his principles to live by. You need his plan to operate upon. You need his purpose to live for.
But you can’t earn any of that. Though you and I deserve much worse, we get all of these things by grace. They are a gift.
Talk It Over
  • How has your view of God been distorted by the false assumption that you have to earn your way into God’s favor?
  • God gives us all the blessings he gives based on his own grace and not on our worthiness. What, then, is our incentive to do what he wants us to do?
  • How does the realization that everything good in your life came by the grace of God change how you interact with God? What about with others?
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