I was so excited last night after reading Joel B's post Beware of Dogs - Part 4
It hit me hard that all our efforts at perfection are useless and of no value. My struggles to read the Bible every day, pray everyday, be a good Christian and whatever else, is all for nothing if it doesn't spring from faith in the gospel. The Holy Spirit said through Paul that the ONLY thing that counts is faith working through love. Not striving in a war against sin, but simple love springing up from faith in the pure, unedited gospel. This means all other works we do will not even be acknowledged at the judgment seat of Christ. God loves a cheerful giver. Don't tell me I have to read my bible. I want to read it! It may not be for 2 hours a day, but I want to! Don't tell me I have to pray. I want to pray! I may not want to pray an hour everyday, but I want to pray! Don't tell me I have to give. I want to give! I may not give $100, but I want to give!
You see, when you order people to behave a certain way, you strip the gospel of a pure heart and make it into a job. You take the love out of it and have made it a list of rules.
I might give up my body to the Lord to be burned, but if it's only religious duty and not out of love, then I did it for nothing.