God loves us. Yet God doesn't want us to stay just as we are. We can be confident in that otherwise Jesus wasted a trip to this earth and to the cross. Jesus had to come to earth because we are broken. Jesus had to come to this earth, live a perfect life and take our punishment on the cross and defeat death in order to make us right again. Jesus taking the wrath of God made us clean. Jesus has given his people righteousness. Jesus changes people and nothing we do can repay that immeasurable grace.
What you do or what you fail to do does not change what Jesus has done. One of the most dangerous things we can believe is that we have something to earn from God.
This is why I believe that your best (and my best) still sucks. Think about the very best that you can do for the Holy God. Think about the absolute top shelf performance you can muster. Then realize how God sees your best. The bible is clear on our righteous deeds. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. - Isaiah 64:6
Not only do we need to realize that what we bring, even our absolute best, fails to reach the mark but how depressingly short it falls in sight of God. To say your best still sucks attempts to point out the obvious, even if it might hurt your feelings. I hope you have a shelf full of trophies, gold medals and all your papers received gold stars. Yet, to believe what we are doing plays a part in earning salvation is the most dangerous lie we can tell ourselves.
So we start with the understanding that all our actions, all our great ideas and all our hard work has a purpose, but it does not earn us even one gold star on the salvation chart. Our salvation comes only from the grace and mercy of God through His son Jesus. This in turn does gives us the authority and freedom to dream big, to risk wisely and to live boldly to glorify the God that has freely given to us so graciously and generously for our eternal good.