And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
There are two audiences being addressed in this passage: those who have already trusted in Christ for salvation and those who have not. The latter part of this verse tells us that those who earnestly seek Him will find Him. The Lord’s gift of salvation is offered to all, but this gift must be received for it to become ours. “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is not our good deeds that save us, but our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As we confess that we are sinners and ask the Lord to take the punishment for our sins through the death of Christ on the cross, God forgives us all our sin (past, present, and future) and places upon us His righteousness (see Romans 3:22). Our faith that the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) exists and that He rewards us with eternal life pleases God. It is all too easy to let our hearts be full of pride regarding our “righteousness.” We must be careful not to be prideful of our philanthropy, sacrifice to others, godly character, or fruitful ministry.
It is only by His grace and love that any of this comes about. If done with a motive of pride, the Lord rejects our works. Out of His love for those we are serving, He may allow fruit, but in the end our prideful acts will be judged and all these deeds will be burned up and receive no reward (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Paul rebukes the Corinthian church for their pride. “I planted the seed, Apollos watered, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
Finally, let this passage encourage your heart. Whatever you are doing or going through, seek the Lord to give you His wisdom and comfort. He says He will reward us if we diligently seek Him. Do not worry about the outcome of the requests for which you are praying. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him”(Matthew 7:11). Though Jesus reminds us that we are sinners, He tells us that God will bless us and answer our prayers as we walk in faith.
Today’s Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 3
Excerpt from Mission Impossible by Sue Corl