The Lie of Performance

by Susan Sampson

God loves us not because of our performance but because of our position in Christ.  I have spent a lifetime trying to earn love by being good enough.  It is a lie to think we could ever be good enough.  Paul says in Romans 7:18, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (NIV).  I have been asking the Lord to give me His joy.  I see that I have been trying to make up for my sin, atone for my sin by my works.  The word martyr came to my mind and so I looked up the definition.  It said sacrificing person, victim, scapegoat, sufferer, offering.  I have been living as though I needed to be the martyr.  But this is not anywhere close to the gospel.  Jesus is our perfect sacrifice.  He is the “scapegoat” pictured in the Old Testament.  He became sin for me so that in him I would become the righteousness of God (2Cor. 5:21).  He is the sin offering — once for all.  There is nothing else needed.  Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Praise be to God!

This is what I wrote in my journal: ” Help my unbelief!  I do believe!  I want to believe!  Please forgive me, Lord.  I repent of my unbelief and choose this day to believe your truth which says you love me, you are good, you are alive, you have forgiven me by the blood of Jesus, Jesus died for me, I have been set free, I have peace with God, I don’t have to do anything to earn my salvation, I have been saved by grace through faith and it was a gift, I am a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come, my life is hidden with Christ in God, the Holy Spirit dwells in me, I have been given a new heart!  My heart of stone has been removed and I have been given a heart of flesh, I once had not received mercy, but now have received mercy, I once was dead but now am alive, I once was without hope and without God, but now am a child of God and co-heir with Christ, I once was a child of wrath but now am a royal priest.  I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.  I rejoice in you, Lord.  The joy of the Lord is my strength.  You are my reason for joy.  You have put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to my God.  I love you Lord.  Thank you, Jesus, for paying the penalty for my sin!  Thank you, Jesus, for taking my punishment!  Help me stop being a martyr.  In your all powerful name I pray, Amen.”

May the Lord tenderly whisper into our ears and hearts His great love for us in Christ.

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