But For the Grace of God…

Michael Beck

“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32)

The Pharisees of Jesus’ day despised the “sinners,” or bad people around them. They couldn’t understand why Jesus would want anything to do with them.

But Jesus didn’t come to make good people better. He came to make bad people good. The Bible says there is not one person who is naturally good. Every single human being needs Christ to change who they are. Only then can their bad actions change.

People don’t need a little help here and there. We all need help on the deepest level of our being. Our potential to hurt ourselves and others is greater than we believe. We flatter ourselves. We trust in ourselves. We measure ourselves favorably against those we deem the worst specimens of humanity. But without Christ, the person we despise today is the person we end up being tomorrow. And then who will we despise?

May we humble ourselves before God and acknowledge that we can do nothing without Him. He has given us a Savior, not as a nice “add on” to our already good lives. No, we are our own worst enemies, and without the close help of Christ in our life there stands very little between smooth sailing and shipwreck.

Christ is not an option; He is a necessity. Though we may think we’re doing good, we are doomed without Him. If He is the difference maker in our lives we need to constantly remind ourselves: “But for the grace of God, there go I.”

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.