Through rain and shine, blistering heat and freezing cold, Buddy lived in a fenced backyard for eight long years. His owner provided food and water but he had no shelter, no toys and no company. The only excitement he might have is when he barked at the growly truck that drove by. He was a good dog but being a good dog wasn’t enough.
Buddy was abandoned when Buddy’s owner was admitted to the Alzheimer’s unit in a nursing home. A neighbor lady came over once in a while and filled his water dish and put some food in a bowl but events had taken a turn for the worse and it looked like Buddy’s life was over.
We heard about the situation and began visiting him every day to make sure he had food and water and to spend some time with the lonely fur baby. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to find him a home, we brought Buddy home with us and has been with us ever since. Leaving him there was never an option. We love the little fur ball and he loves us.
Buddy didn’t do anything to earn a loving home. He didn’t do anything to earn treatment for his heartworm condition. Like the song says, t’was grace that brought him safe thus far and grace that led him home.
There are far too many people who truly believe that they must keep the Sabbath and feasts and festivals and eat the right foods and say their prayers just right to gain God’s favor. They believe that anyone who is struck with an illness or suffers misfortune is being punished by God and those who find His favor are blessed with prosperity. In short, they believe that we have to earn God’s favor. They do not believe in the grace of God.
You may try hard to please God and I hate to be the one to break it to you but you suck. I suck. We all suck. All of our good deeds are disgusting. They are not and never will be good enough to gain God’s favor.
Isaiah 64:6 [NET]
We are all like one who is unclean, all our so-called righteous acts are like a menstrual rag in your sight. We all wither like a leaf; our sins carry us away like the wind.
If you keep the Sabbath, good for you. If you celebrate the feasts, good for you. If you give to the poor and feed the hungry and clothe those who are naked and visit those in prison, good for you but your righteousness and your good deeds are like a menstrual rag in God’s sight. All that we consider good within us is disgusting before God. It is only by God’s grace that we are saved. It is only that which we do in Jesus’ name that counts for anything. Only through Him are we saved and sanctified.
Ephesians 2:8-9 [NET]
8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast.
We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
Romans 3:23-24 [NET]
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Any time you receive glory or attention, anytime you look good because of something you have done, you have done it for the wrong reason and it is not counted as righteousness. It’s a total waste of time and worse yet, you are guilty of stealing glory from God.
John 12:32 [NET]
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
That’s what it’s all about. Lift up Jesus and He will draw all men to Him. It is only through Him that we can be saved and our salvation is a gift. It is not something that we can earn. We receive it by grace.
Buddy was welcomed into our home by grace because we love him so much.
How much more does your heavenly Father love you and oh how He longs to welcome you into His eternal home…by grace.