My Grace-Full Life

2.26.23 Weekly Blog: Given, Not Earned

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8‬-‭9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• As some of you know, I have a new hobby this year — cake baking. With my new hobby, I’ve also become a Great British Bake Off junkie. I had never understood the program — what is with baking in a tent?!?! But once I got over my confusion about the tent, I have binge-watched all the way through the 2022 contest. 

In this most recent GBBO competition, one of the competitors got on my last nerve. He was the baking equivalent of someone pushing for a viral response. You can’t MAKE a viral response happen — they just happen! In every one of his interview reels, he was scheming not only to get Star Baker, but above all, he wanted to get one of the elusive Paul Hollywood handshakes. 

(For those who don’t know, in the GBBO tent, master baker and judge, Paul Hollywood, will shake the hand of a baker when they achieve perfection with their bake. It doesn’t happen often and it’s a huge accomplishment for the baker who receives one.)

This guy was desperate. He managed to get to the finals, but he could never get the handshake. He kept over-extending himself in the bakes, adding more elements and doing everything he could to impress Paul Hollywood. And he failed. Spoiler alert: the season ended and he never got the handshake. 

This guy was the baking show equivalent of what Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches us. It says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

I love this passage. It’s my favorite and my life verse. And what I love is the reminder: I can’t earn anything.

I don’t have to fight and scheme and try to earn God’s grace… I don’t have to worry about whether I’ve done enough to earn His salvation… I earn nothing.

All I have to do is show up with faith… faith that what Jesus did on the cross paid my sins and because He rose from the dead and conquered death, my eternal security is covered.

My faith is in His works, not mine.

God is so wise. If we could earn our salvation, it would open the door for pride. Instead, all we can do is boast in God’s generous goodness and stay humble in the process. As Jesus Himself said in Matthew 23:12, “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

And that is infinitely better than a Paul Hollywood handshake.

Today, as you pray, thank God for His generous goodness. Thank Jesus for dying for you. And thank the Holy Spirit for living in your heart from the moment you accepted Jesus as your Savior. Ask the Lord to help you stay humble and always remember that your salvation wasn’t earned — it was given. And all praise goes to Him for the gift you couldn’t achieve on your own.

SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.

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