It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. —Ephesians 2:10 (TLB)
Happiness and all of the unlimited benefits which flow from the storehouse of heaven are contingent upon our relationship to God. Absolute dependency and absolute yieldedness are the conditions of being His child. Only His children are entitled to receive those things that lend themselves to happiness; and in order to be His child, there must be surrender of the will to Him.
We must admit we are poor before we can be made rich. We must admit we are destitute before we can become children of adoption. When we realize that all our own goodness is as filthy rags in God’s sight, and become aware of the destructive power of our stubborn wills; when we realize our absolute dependence upon the grace of God through faith and nothing more, then we have started on the road to happiness.
Man does not come to know God through works—he comes to know God by faith through grace. You cannot work your way toward happiness and heaven, you cannot moralize your way, you cannot reform your way, you cannot buy your way. It comes as a gift of God through Christ.
Ever impress upon us, Lord Jesus, that it is through grace that we came to know You; that it is because of You that we stand righteous before You.