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Earning Heaven

In Mark 10, there’s a man who runs up to Jesus and asks, “What do I need to do to receive eternal life?” Jesus knew his heart, so He listed off the Ten Commandments and said to obey them. The man replies back, “I’ve kept those my whole life!” Then jesus changed things up in verse 21 and said, “You need only one thing. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me” (GNT). The man left upset because he wasn’t willing to do that.

I’m sure you’ve heard this story a hundred times, but I want us to look at it a little differently today. One of the things I notice is that this man wanted to know what he could do to receive eternal life. We have to be careful not to think our salvation is based on anything we do. Ephesians 2:8 tells us, “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.” This Man was trying to figure out what boxes needed to be checked off to get to Heaven because he wanted man’s approval and not God’s.

We live in a performance based society. If you do certain things, you get promoted and make more money. We have to be very careful to not let that infect our faith. Jesus’ response to the man was reminding him, and us, that God looks at our heart, not at our works. We cannot earn salvation or favor with God By doing certain things. He loves us because of who we are. There’s nothing you or I can do to make Him love us more or less. If you are truly thankful in your heart for what Jesus did on the cross, it will show up in how you live your life.

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

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Be Generous


Every time I read a story about someone going above and beyond to help someone, I always read the comments. Without fail someone will write something like this, “People like this restore my faith in humanity.” It’s upsetting to me that we have gotten to the point that being selfless and generous is a rare thing in today’s world. It’s so rare that people have lost faith in humanity over it, and when it does happen, the story goes viral. That bothers me.

You and I, as Christians should be the most generous people the world has. If we truly believe that God is our source and everything we have has been given to us by Him, then we should be generous with what we have. In Matthew 10:8, Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give” (NIV). Our generosity of love, time, money, kindness, selflessness, and goodness should be evident to all around. In a world where it’s the exception and not the rule, our generosity will help show the love of Jesus to the world and point them to Him.

Here are some verses in the Bible on generosity.

1. Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped.

Proverbs 11:25 GNT

2. The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil. They plot crooked schemes. They lie to convict the poor, even when the cause of the poor is just. But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.

Isaiah 32:7-8 NLT

3. Generous hands are blessed hands because they give bread to the poor.

Proverbs 22:9 MSG

4. [Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others], In this way laying up for themselves [the riches that endure forever as] a good foundation for the future, so that they may grasp that which is life indeed.

1 Timothy 6:18-19 AMP

5. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 ESV

6. Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.

Deuteronomy 15:10 NLT

7. Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns.

Ecclesiastes 11:1 MSG

8. Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood–being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2 AMP

9. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Proverbs 19:17 ESV

10. Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands—all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.

Luke 6:38 GNT

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