“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Earned or Lost

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons; neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Sometimes, I can be incredibly arrogant. I look at this unsaved world (especially my Jewish friends and family) and wonder how they could possibly miss His message. They must be so dumb to look at these same passages of Scripture I read daily and not see Christ throughout the Old Testament. If only they were intelligent, like me!
And then I realize that I'm the stupid one.
Because my salvation has absolutely, positively nothing to do with my intelligence (or lack thereof), anything I have done, or even what I have done for Him.
For it is 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

It is one of the most basic and fundamental beliefs that I hold - of my faith. I did absolutely, positively nothing to earn God's favor, love, and protection. It's all Him. Any other thoughts on this are simply arrogance.

And as I was pondering the verses I opened this devotional with, I realized that denial of Paul's conclusion here is also boasting.
 For if we can do nothing to earn God's love, why should we believe we can do anything to lose it?
Photo source
If we believe we can turn God's affection from us, we must believe we earned it in the first place. And that is
the ultimate in arrogance.

That I, a "pot," can bring glory to the Potter without His help. That I can BE anything besides a useless lump of clay without Him.

So, I can look at these verses in Romans with new eyes. Not only are these things unable to separate me from His love, but they can't earn it for me either.
  • death
  • life
  • angels
  • demons
  • the present
  • the future
  • any powers
  • depth
  • height
  • or anything else in creation
Only the Lord Himself can grant me His incredible, eternal love, and nothing can separate me from it. I can't lose it any more than I can earn it. What an incredible gift.
We're discussing this here, and at Living by Grace on Facebook. Won't you join us?
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths


  1. Great post and you opened with my absolute favorite Bible verses. Thanks for starting my day off right!

    1. Absolutely my pleasure, Tom! So glad I blessed you!


Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!

My One Word: 2016 and 2017

Most who know me know I am a very goal-oriented person (in fact, I already shared my goal wrap-up for 2016 and my new ones for 2017 on this...