Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
Today's scripture passage is one that I hold close to my heart. I am a person who, mostly subconsciously, does good deeds to make myself feel better about myself. I think it comes from a desire to make up for my knowledge that as a human being I will be a sinner until the day I die and meet my Lord in heaven. This knowledge makes me uncomfortable, and, in typical human fashion, I try to make up for my sin by doing good deeds as if to wash the accumulated stains of sin from my soul. I guess it's like I try to throw my sin-stained soul into the washing machine of life with the detergent of good deeds.
Going with my clothes-washing analogy, the reality is that I am actually throwing a freshly cleaned garment into the washing machine, for no good reason. The garment isn't going to get any cleaner. It is the same way with our souls and Christ; he has washed us clean of all our sins already, despite the fact that he knows every instance that we will sin throughout the entirety of our lives. The difference is that he has used an even stronger cleaning material: his own blood. No good deed we do will make him love us any more, and as the Scripture says, there is nothing we can do that will make him love us any less. Of course, this doesn't mean we should stop doing good deeds — far from it! Let us simply change our focus; let's do good deeds as sort of a "thank you" gesture to God for saving us, and as a means to glorifying His name, instead of a way to get into heaven.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you from the depths of our hearts for washing us clean with your Son's precious blood shed on Calvary. Let our deeds glorify You alone. In Christ's precious name. Amen.