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Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]. John 6:29 AMPC
All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me]. John 6:37 AMPC
He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.] John 3:18 AMPC
23 But [the words], It was credited to him, were written not for his sake alone, 24 But [they were written] for our sakes too. [Righteousness, standing acceptable to God] will be granted and credited to us also who believe in (trust in, adhere to, and rely on) God, Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead Romans 4: 23-24 AMPC
It seems like we’re always working. Working at our jobs. Working at home. Working to maintain relationships. Working on our yards. Working out. We work a lot and it isn’t just physical. We’re often times working overtime in our mental and emotional lives. Over thinking everything is work. Being a perfectionist takes serious work. Trying to maintain your reputation or control what others thing of you is very hard work. Engaging in harsh internal dialogue with yourself is work.
We often over complicate things by over thinking. In the scriptures, God is asking us to simplify our lives in Christ. God is showing us that much of the work and striving we do is unnecessary and fruitless. We often work ourselves silly trying to depend on our own strength. Trying to do things our own way. Working in this way signals a lack of faith and trust in God. Jesus explained it very simply: the only work God requires of you is to believe. That in itself is enough work for us humans. Because we’re little control freaks who want to have everything our own way. It takes a constant, deliberate dying to self, yielding, surrendering, to simply believe in Jesus. When you believe in Jesus, you trust Him with the outcome. You trust He will do what’s best for you. It means you actually expect Him to be faithful to His Word.
Jesus promised never to reject us when we come to Him. When we put our faith and hope in Him – believe in Him – we will not be rejected. That means we don’t need to work for God’s approval. He sees us through the lens of the Cross. Jesus took the weight of our sin on the Cross. He paid for our righteousness with His blood. What a sacrifice! What a gift! If we continue to work and strive to be ‘good enough’ for God’s approval, then we are essentially saying that the Cross isn’t enough. We’re saying, “Jesus, You didn’t do enough by being beaten and ridiculed and dying on a cross for me. My sins and flaws are bigger than that… more powerful than that”. It’s choosing to reject the gift and only trusting yourself with the outcome.
That’s why belief in Jesus is credited to us as righteousness. Because of the transaction that takes place when we believe in Him. He takes our sin and shame and clothes us in His righteousness. If you’ve put your trust in Jesus, you’re already approved of! When you choose not to believe in Jesus, you sentence yourself to a life of hard labor. The labor of trying to control everything. To feel good enough. To acquire enough wealth, to feel secure. To remain suspicious enough so no one takes advantage of you. Building a wall of anger to protect yourself from ever being hurt again. You remain in a prison of your own making when you live this way.
God isn’t mad at you. He loves you and would love nothing more than for you to believe in Jesus and experience the freedom and release of surrender. He is inviting you into a life free from the stress of working to gain approval. A life based on the simple truth that all God asks of you is to believe in Jesus.
When you cling to Jesus because He is your greatest treasure, you recognize the facade that is material gain. The feverish striving and clamoring for perfection ends. As you rely on Jesus, trusting Him in all things, the Holy Spirit works in you to change the very things you were working to fix in your own strength before. You don’t have to walk through life alone and uncertain and afraid. Choose life in Christ. Follow Him and experience the freedom and acceptance He has promised!
Love & Blessings,