“I’ll be careful,” said my five-year-old, standing perilously close to the edge.

“But I said, come away.”

When our children are doing something dangerous we don’t want them to be careful, we want them to be compliant. Likewise, we may say to God, “I’ll be careful to live a good life so I can go to heaven.” Yet, rather surprisingly, this isn’t what God asked us to do.

Instead, God asks us to come to him with open hearts and minds to receive his gift of salvation—a gift made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection. When we accept this gift, we are forgiven and enter into a relationship with God for all eternity. Jesus is the way to God. No one comes into relationship with God except through him.

It’s not our prerogative to invent a system of salvation that is dependent on our hard work, effort or self-sacrifice. Rather, we accept the system of salvation that God has put in place—one that is based on Jesus’ work and his sacrifice. God isn’t looking for carefulness, he is looking for those who willingly accept his gift and enter into relationship with him.

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