Read Ephesians 2:4-9

By grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

—Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

Surrounded by overachievers my whole life, I’ve always felt that intelligence and talent were not my strongest characteristics. I feel pretty average most of the time. I was once again reminded of this at a pre-Christmas event at my church, where my friends were creating beautiful and intricately designed gingerbread houses, and I instead spent a few hours managing to create three alien-dog-looking reindeer.

Despite all this, and amid all my mediocrity, I have found peace in knowing the real beauty of Christmas; Jesus was born human, died on the cross to save us from our sins, and rose to conquer death so that we may have eternal life.

In the verse quoted above, Paul assured us that our salvation doesn’t depend on what we do or whether we are mediocre or brilliant. Rather it depends on what Jesus finished on the cross. As New Year’s Day approaches and we remember all the resolutions we didn’t fulfill last year, we can also take time to reflect on the limitations of relying on our own strength. Then we can rest in the real beauty of Christmas and the hope that Jesus offers.

Prayer—Dear God, thank you for the peace we have in knowing that we can rest in your grace instead of our own merit. Amen.

Thought for the Day—With God, I never have to rely on my strength alone.

—Melissa Ramoo, Australia

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