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Helping ourselves

Helping ourselves

Jay Leno once asked random people on the street to name one of the Ten Commandments. And the most popular response was, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Not only is this not one of the Ten Commandments, it’s not found in the Bible.

Love we don't deserve

The Bible’s message is the exact opposite. The very concept of grace (remember: grace is God’s love for people who don’t deserve it) is founded on the fact that God helps those who cannot help themselves.  Paul marvels, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

The grace of God excludes our helping ourselves get right with him.  Or doing anything else to help ourselves.  Jesus replaces our guilt with his grace, our sin with his righteousness. Our work earns nothing, produces nothing, wins nothing.  His is our everything. The apostle Paul confirms later in Romans that God chooses to interact with us based on his grace.  Then he concludes, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:5).

Celebrate grace

Take a moment right now to thank God for loving you even though you don’t deserve it. Celebrate that “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).