I used to do a lot of work and then said, “Christ is mine!”. In my mind, him being mine was because of my work not because of his love for me.
There was this notion that was preached and may still be being preached today. The notion is that if Christ had done so much for you, what have you done in return for him? With this notion, any Christian who blindly accepts it will go into a neverending guilt trip.
The vicious circle will always be that I have to keep on working in order to prove to God, to prove to Christ how much I appreciate what he did for me.
But the gospel says differently than such notion. The gospel says that Christ worked then he rested. The gospel says that I am called to rest because Christ had worked for me.
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)
Yet many others like me seek to work to earn praises for themselves. Many other times, they say to be earning praises to God. Yet, when God wanted to be praised, when God wanted to be glorified, when God wanted to be revealed, when God wanted to be known for something that He had done, He sent Christ to die on a cross to reconcile the whole world to himself, not counting their sins against them.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
If God was to continue counting your sins against you, Christ wouldn’t have told you to forgive others when they wrong you.
If God was to continue to count their sins against them, Christ wouldn’t have said to love your enemies.
In our relationship with one another, Christ, my Lord, said,
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:44-45)
So whether I’m working hard to earn recognition for myself, or working hard to bring recognition to God or Christ, only one work brought acceptable recognition to God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit: the finished priestly work of Christ.
That’s why the gospel is the only message that truly praises God, glorifies God, fully reveals God.
Anything else is man’s attempt to earn credit for himself.
God loves you, and that’s the central message of the gospel. That message is enough for me. And I hope and pray that you know with all certainty that His love, Christ, is enough for you and me.