Like Popeye Used to Say... I Am What I Am

Why do we think God has some lofty expectations that we have to live up to? We act like if we don't follow some list of rules exactly (most of which are really just man-made traditions or doctrine), God will be angry with us and not forgive us.

But God poured out his wrath on his SON on the cross. We don't have to suffer that wrath because it was already dealt with two thousand years ago!  It's history!  Sometimes we act as if Jesus' death on a cross wasn't sufficient for our sin, as if what we've done is so horrible that even GOD didn't see it coming.  So we try to live up to some make-believe standard that we set for ourselves because we don't deserve God's forgiveness.  Guess what? WE DON'T! That's how awesome he is. He doesn't give us what we deserve, because what we deserve is eternal death.

Think about this: Why did God raise Jesus from the dead? Could it be because he was satisfied with his death as our punishment? Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Corinthians 15:10) The same is true for each of us who have obeyed the gospel: we are what we are, which is SAVED, by the grace of God!  He promises that if we repent of our sin, no matter what it is or how horrible we think it is, he will forgive us.  Because Jesus willingly got what we deserved. He took 100% of our punishment, so that God was satisfied with it as payment in full.

So quit acting like you still have work to do to somehow earn your salvation and focus instead on working hard because you are saved!  You can experience a lot more joy that way!