What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my
head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a "law man"
so that I could be God’s man. Galatians 2:19 (TM)
Wendy and I watched a great episode of Shark the other week. James Wood’s character made an interesting statement (I paraphrase): "If there is a God, I may not be good enough to get into heaven – but at least He knows I’m trying." Kudos to the writers and producers for even touching on spiritual matters. Perhaps Shark will learn what Paul learned and what I learned. There’s no amount of good you can do to earn God’s favor. Good deeds and religious merit badges are worthless.
God doesn’t want our efforts. He doesn’t need our good deeds. He wants our hearts. When our hearts are his, the deeds will flow out of our gratitude instead of being motivated by selfish, spiritual gain.