Recently I have been thinking a lot about grace, a freely given extravagant love gift that God has offered to us. It seems that often we come to a place where we know that we need forgiveness but once received we can sometimes have a mindset that we have to earn His pleasure. Colossians 1:19-22 gives us a clear answer on exactly what pleases the Lord. “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—” No where does it say that it was His pleasure that we would work our way to Him. The open door to relationship with Him is a gift paid for by the precious sacrifice of Jesus. We were so loved that He was willing to pay the ultimate price so we could have free access to God and that we could live freely in relationship to Him! So why do we burden ourselves with expectations that are of our own making? It is because our perspective is based on our worth instead of His. And we know we come up short. Consider this, if a friend gave you a lavish gift would you start off by listing all the reasons you don’t deserve it? Would you show up to clean their house or wash their car in order to be worthy of their gift? Imagine if you did how your friend would feel. Their desire to bless you would become a source of heartache for them. We would not react that way to an earthly gift so why would we do so to one from our Heavenly Father who loves us far more than any friend? The irony is that we keep this works based approach to try and be pleasing to God but Colossians tells us that it is His pleasure to give to us so if we want to please Him we simply need to receive this amazing gift of grace that He so freely gives!