“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” 1 Tim. 4:1-3 (ESV)
In today’s verse, Paul gives us yet another scheme Satan uses to distance us from God’s love. His strategy is to lead us to depend on something other than Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation.
This strategy directly attacks God’s grace.
Satan will lie and say we can earn God’s favor through actions such as avoiding marriage or abstaining from certain foods.
In medicine, it might be a lie that says we can earn God’s forgiveness by being a good doctor…by serving the poor…by being a medical missionary.
Those are all good things.
But they never earn God’s forgiveness.
God’s forgiveness is never earned…it is given freely.
That’s called grace.
God’s forgiveness is given freely to anyone who places their faith and trust in Christ.
Then we simply ask to be forgiven…and it is done.
Satan seeks to add something…anything…to that simple requirement.
He will attempt to brainwash us into thinking that we should somehow be earning God’s favor through our practice of medicine.
Being a good doctor is important…not to earn favor…but out of thankfulness for His favor.
Serving the poor in medicine is a beautiful thing…not to be seen as better…but out of love for God and for His creation.
Being a medical missionary is a privilege…not to become a higher-class Christian…but out of a sincere calling from the Lord.
Don’t let the lies of the enemy penetrate your thinking.
If you have placed your faith in Christ…your have already earned His favor.
You are forgiven and His child.
There is nothing you can do on this earth to improve your standing with God.
You can however please Him through your obedience to His call and your efforts to truly love your neighbor.
Rest in nothing other than His grace…and let everything else flow out of thankfulness for what He has done for you.
Prayer: Lord, I know I don’t deserve Your grace and can do nothing to earn it. Thank You for dying for me…and lead me through this day.