Saturday, December 25, 2010
For by grace are you saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift-not from works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 HCSB
I am extremely fortunate to work with talented musicians and artists everyday. I love interacting with these creative people who are so passionate about communicating their feelings to the world in various ways. Over the years, I’ve heard glorious music, viewed breathtaking art, read heart-wrenching poems, and watched realistic drama. I’m constantly amazed and often overwhelmed by the tremendous talent that God has given to His people.
However, it’s not through the artistic gifts of people that we are redeemed. We are saved by the grace of God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. It’s comforting to know that our salvation doesn’t rely on how high we can sing, how beautifully we can paint, how perfectly we can act, or how wonderfully we can write. There is no one who can brag, “It’s because of my amazing vocal abilities that I am saved.”
Sooner or later, even the super talented must realize that we are not the source of our salvation. It’s only by the grace of Jesus.
Lord, thank You for Your grace.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 HCSB
I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to embrace the great joy that I’m supposed to find in the trials of life. You won’t normally find me saying, “It looks like I’m getting ready to go through some hard times! Isn’t it wonderful! I’m so glad that my faith is being tested because I know that faith produces endurance! Yippee!”
However, going through times of faith testing is good for us. It helps build up our spiritual endurance for future situations in which we will find ourselves. When a runner trains for a marathon, the rigorous training time is important to build up the endurance he needs to make it the full 26 miles on the day of the race. In a similar fashion, we must view our spiritual trials as a positive experience, meant to help us increase our faith to higher levels of endurance.
Lord, help us see the joy that can come from the struggles of life.