What is it, then, that God wants us to do? What is the work he seeks? Just believe. Believe the One he sent. “The work God wants you to do is this: Believe the One he sent” (John 6:29 NCV).
Someone is reading this and shaking his or her head and asking, “Are you saying it is possible to go to heaven with no good works?” The answer is no. Good works are a requirement. Someone else is reading and asking, “Are you saying it is possible to go to heaven without good character?” My answer again is no. Good character is also required. In order to enter heaven one must have good works and good character.
But, alas, there is the problem. You have neither.
Oh, you’ve done some nice things in your life. But you do not have enough good works to go to heaven regardless of your sacrifice. No matter how noble your gifts, they are not enough to get you into heaven.
Nor do you have enough character to go to heaven. Please don’t be offended. (Then, again, be offended, if necessary.) You’re probably a very decent person. But decency isn’t enough. Those who see God are not the decent; they are the holy. “Anyone whose life is not holy will never see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14 NCV).
You may be decent. You may pay taxes and kiss your kids and sleep with a clean conscience. But apart from Christ you aren’t holy. So how can you go to heaven?
Accept the work already done, the work of Jesus on the cross. Only believe. Accept the goodness of Jesus Christ. Abandon your own works and accept his. Abandon your own decency and accept his. Stand before God in his name, not yours. “Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved, but anyone who does not believe will be punished” (Mark 16:16 NCV).
t’s that simple? It’s that simple. It’s that easy? There was nothing easy at all about it. The cross was heavy, the blood was real, and the price was extravagant. It would have bankrupted you or me, so he paid it for us. Call it simple. Call it a gift. But don’t call it easy.
Call it what it is. Call it grace.
Today’s devotional is drawn from Max Lucado’s Next Door Savior.