He saved us because of his mercy, not because of any good things we did. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5 (ERV)
And that this “saving” was a gift of God’s amazing grace…
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8 (NLT)
The root of my salvation is trusting in Jesus as my Savior and Lord of my life…
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NLT)
This root trust in Jesus saves me for all eternity, but as Pastor Lon Solomon says, “If there is no fruit, there is no root.”
The half-brother of Jesus, James writes about fruit in the book of James.
So you see that people are made right with God by what they do. They cannot be made right by faith alone. James 2:24 (ERV)
A person’s body that does not have a spirit is dead. It is the same with faith—faith that does nothing is dead! James 2:26 (ERV)
I can’t say yes to Him for my eternal soul and no to Him with the details of my earthly life. That does not make sense, but I do it all the time. Every time my stomach is in a knot, I am telling Abba He can’t handle my issues. What does fruit look like in our lives when we are upset, frustrated, stressed, fearful or worried? Paul tells us to give thanks; one of the greatest choices we make to prove our faith is genuine, because we are choosing to believe Abba. When I thank Him in the midst of my stress, I am choosing to believe that He is in control and His love never fails.
2 Corinthians 2:14 (ERV) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in victory through Christ. God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume.
I have started saying not only I trust You, Jesus, but also thank You that Your hand is on me and that You can handle this. Thank You for caring enough to work this all out for good. Thank You that I can wait with hopeful anticipation for Your results. Thank You that You hear me as I pray this and for Your amazing grace in my life. Every time I say this with my mouth, the knots in my stomach start to unwind and a sweet peace washes over me.
We are told in the end times it is especially important to give thanks in all circumstances because most will be ungrateful and will not honor Abba or recognize Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:2 (ERV) People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud and boast about themselves. They will abuse others with insults. They will not obey their parents. They will be ungrateful and against all that is pleasing to God.
James 1:2, 3 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
God will never tempt you (James 1:13), but He will test you. When troubles come your way, He is testing your faith. He is asking you, “Do you trust Me?” He is always using people and circumstances to ask you, “Do you really trust Me?” It is important for you to know the answer. You cannot grow into maturity if you won’t trust Him. God’s desire is to be in a deep, trusting relationship with you.
Everything that happens to you is Father-filtered; nothing gets by Him. He wants to demonstrate His Loving and Virtuous problem-solving skills to you; so when the next trouble comes, you won’t hesitate to run into His arms for help. He is building you up in Christ, developing your godly character. You demonstrate Christ’s character when you respond to persecution and trouble by choosing to trust Him and by reacting in joyful thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6, 7) instead of self-pity and bitterness.
How did Jesus respond when He suffered at the hands of those who sought His life (1 Peter 2:21–23)? He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself into the hands of His Loving Father. Will you?