Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Rejoice Ye Pure In Heart"1 (Lyrics)
Titus 3:4-5a – When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (NLT)
When my husband and I received our teaching degrees after five long years at the University of Victoria, we became qualified to teach at schools in British Columbia, Canada. We were able to sign up for interviews and to look for jobs in our areas of expertise: Social Studies and Physical Education for my husband, and French for me. Our qualifications got us the jobs.
Twenty years later, we had to apply for long-term visas to teach in Bratislava, Slovakia. These important pieces of paper enabled us to have certain rights and privileges in a foreign country. We could be paid for our work, we didn't have to pay foreigners' rates for travel and hotels, and we could go in and out of the country with a minimum of paperwork.
Now, fast-track to our retirement. On one volunteer job at a rescue mission, we ladies were asked to sift carefully through reams of resumes and applications, looking for certain reference letters that the supervisor wanted to keep, while shredding the others. I couldn't help noticing the applicants' extensive qualifications: pages and pages of degrees, awards, previous positions, and other experiences. It hurt to shred original transcripts, printed on quality paper, and embossed with the seals of the universities that issued them. Yet, they were not needed. These peoples' qualifications appeared really impressive, yet they were not hired. Evidently, others met the qualifications more exactly. Official documents were reduced to mere shredded paper.
I was struck by the contrast with coming to faith in Christ. Our heavenly Father accepts us and gives us eternal life by virtue of the death of His Son on the cross, not because of anything that we've done to deserve it. Qualifications and lists of achievements mean nothing in regard to being accepted by God, and we don't need a visa. God in His mercy accepts us just the way that we are; we don't have to better ourselves first. The only requirements that we need for a new status are to come in faith, to agree with God that we are sinners in need of a Saviour, to repent of our self-seeking ways, and to change our direction toward a new kind of life. Then, we are accepted into His family. We have all the same rights and privileges as Jesus Christ, including having eternal life, and even ruling and reigning with Him in His kingdom.
Whoever we are and whatever we've accomplished or not accomplished, we don't need qualifications to have Jesus in our lives. We merely have to humble ourselves to accept Him.
Have you made sure that you have invited Him into your life on the basis of His qualifications?
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that we don't have to have certain qualifications to come into Your kingdom. Thank You that You accept us just the way that we are, because Jesus Christ's qualifications are good enough. May His name be praised! Amen.