Not For but From

Today, I was involved in a discussion at the monthly deacon’s meeting about works-based faith or faith-based works. The question that came up was about how you can tell the two apart.

An answer came to my mind later after the meeting. I remembered something I had heard once in a sermon that said, “As believers, we fight not for victory but from victory.

That’s the key difference. Not FOR but FROM.

The words look and sound a bit similar, but there’s a world of difference in the life of a believer based on which one you live from.

As a believer, you don’t live and work for the approval of God, but from that very approval. You don’t work to earn your salvation and justification, but you live from the justification and salvation that come from the unmerited favor of God’s mercy and grace.

To live FOR is to live a performance-based life where you’re never quite sure if your good is good enough, where you can hopefully make up for your mistakes and failures with enough good deeds.

To live FROM is to live out of gratitude for Jesus’ finished work. It’s to know a peace that comes from realizing that you could never earn God’s favor but that He chose to bestow it on you out of His good pleasure.

I want to live not FOR but FROM God’s love. After all, I can only love because He loved me first.

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