Daily Reflections

No Substitute for Grace

March 5, 2024 Ruth Chou Simons

You are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift. —Ephesians 2:8

Do you feel confused at times with God’s job versus your job in the Christian life? It could be because the truth of God’s grace, when you really think about it, is outrageous. . . . We look at the outlandish claim of the gospel that Jesus accomplishes everything we can’t and deem it as less than sufficient for change. . . .

We might not say we believe a Jesus-plus-our efforts idea of the gospel, but when we place our performances on the pedestal of personal progress, we’re not relying on the grace of God. We’re worshiping the gospel of self-reliance. Self-reliance is something we can control, manipulate, and measure according to our efforts. Grace, on the other hand, is countercultural with its rejection of self-sufficiency and its relinquishing of power. . . . We say we trust that Jesus is enough, but we spend our lives trying to prove that we are, instead. . . .

We end up substituting self-help and formulas for our true means for change—the grace of God.


When Strivings Cease by Ruth Chou Simons. Used by permission of Harper Collins Christian Publishing.

Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible ®. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible ® and CSB ® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Make it Personal

What things do you tend to look to for change in your life other than God’s grace?