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Self-Improvement vs. God-Improvement

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

– Ephesians 2:4,5

One of the most strange and ironic things about self-improvement is that it’s actually not that at all. You see, until your soul is at rest, you can’t really change yourself, and the harder you try, the further you drift from where you want to be. Behavior can only improve when you let go of finding your identity in what you do and surrender your attempts to control your own morality. As much as you want to do better, you just can’t do it alone. This is why Jesus came. 

Because the Lord did the work of relating to you and paid the price by dying on the cross and making a way to be in relationship with Him, Christianity is the only true key to a better life. While other religions and systems of belief say that you must do things in order to reap the rewards of relationship, Jesus says that you can’t do anything right on your own…until you go to Heaven. Now, let me explain what I mean by that last statement. It’s not that you have to die and enter into eternity to have an improved life, it’s that until Heaven lives in you and you partake of the Kingdom of God, you don’t have the power to sustain right living. Receiving and dwelling in God’s love is the key to improved behavior. Anything other than this will ultimately fail.  

Friend, I know it’s backwards, but letting God love you in the middle of your mess is the only way to abundant life. Because He abounds in grace and mercy, even when you were His enemy, He loved you. Although you may have rejected Him, cursed His Name, or even denied that He exists, He was on your side, waiting for you to turn your heart to Him. If He cared that much when you were separated, how much more does He adore you now that you are His child? I encourage you to let that sink into your soul; hang out and stay in Jesus’ peace, love, and rest, and He will give you a life better than any you could have imagined! 

Prayer


Jesus, thank you for receiving me in the middle of my mess. There are things in my life I want to change, but I recognize that I can’t do it alone. I ask you to transform me by your love and power. 

Reflection


Have you tried to improve yourself and failed? Will you allow Jesus’ love to penetrate your life so that He can do the improving?

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