Nothing in us is motivational, and nothing we can do can pay Him back. The only part we have in grace is the receiving of it: “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-10). And what does that grace lead to for the Christian? It leads to peace.
There are some parts of Scripture that most of us consider to be “throw away.” I don’t mean we think they’re unimportant; it’s just that we tend to skip passed these sections of the Bible, you know, to get to the good stuff.
Take the Old Testament genealogies for example. Though we might give our approval to the statement that all the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we tend to look at these listings of fathers and sons and fathers and sons as skim-worthy.
Or take the dividing of the land among the Israelite tribe. Surely more than one of us has stumbled over these sections of the Bible in our attempt to read the whole thing in one year.
When we turn to the New Testament, we find mostly a collection of letters written to churches. Many of these were written by Paul. And because these are letters, there is a certain formula to them. They begin with an identification of the author, an acknowledgement of who the letter is to, and then some kind of salutation. This opening stuff in the letters fits, for most of us, in the same category as the genealogies and land divisions – just a few lines to get through quickly until we get to the real meat of what’s there.
But there’s more here. So much more.